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Kobayashi Pharma ramps up output of popular cooling gel

Migraine remedy Netsusama-sheet gains market in Chinese from returning tourists

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's popular cooling gel sheet is sold at a drugstore in Tokyo.

OSAKA -- Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical will invest around 10 billion yen ($91 million) to boost production of its popular cooling gel sheet called the Netsusama-sheet.

The migraine-relieving patch, sold as Be Koool in the U.S., has become a must-buy product among Chinese tourists to Japan, pushing Kobayashi's factories to operate at full capacity.

Starting this year, the company will allocate 6 billion yen to open an additional production site at a subsidiary's plant in Ehime Prefecture. The expanded facility is to kick off production next year.

At its plant in China's Anhui Province, Kobayashi will invest 4 billion yen to open a production building that will manufacture both cooling sheets and heat packs. Production is set to begin in 2021.

The expansion in Anhui is aimed at capturing demand in China among tourists who return from Japan and continue to use the product at home.

The company sold roughly 400 million Netsusama-sheets in 2018 alone. It has not disclosed its sales targets for after the expansion.

Netsusama-sheet is a gel-filled sheet that the user patches on to the forehead to cool down fevers. It gained popularity on Chinese social media, and is currently sold in Japan, China and the U.S.

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