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A Medicated EmpireThe Pharmaceutical Industry and Modern Japan$
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Timothy M. Yang

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501756245

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501756245.001.0001

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(p.231) Epilogue
A Medicated Empire

Timothy M. Yang

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that Hoshi Pharmaceuticals in its heyday was not all that different from other large-scale drug companies of its time. It notes that it was a parable of an earlier era — characterized by collusive connections between state and industry, overheated, debt-financed expansion, and the dangers of peddling potential poisons as medicines. To sell its medicines, Hoshi, like other companies, wove a scientific, humanitarian, and democratic narrative of medicinal consumption that highlighted the allegedly objective and self-evident merits of modern medicine for curing disease and improving people's lives for the benefit of society as a whole. The chapter demonstrates, through the case of Hoshi, how the modern pharmaceutical industry developed outside of the research laboratory, deeply immersed and implicated in politics and society. Ultimately, the chapter displays — through a microhistory of the rise and fall of Hoshi Pharmaceuticals — the making of this industry and how it supported the Japanese state's efforts to mold individuals into healthy and productive citizens.

Keywords:   Hoshi Pharmaceuticals, medicines, medicinal consumption, modern medicine, modern pharmaceutical industry, Japanese state

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