Kowa was founded in 1894 as a cotton wholesaler in Nagoya, Japan. The company continuously expanded its business from the lifestyle, industry and chemical fields to optical equipment, pharmaceutical fields, as well as providing natural dietary supplements.

In the pharmaceutical arena, Kowa established its own Nagoya Factory in 1947 and subsequently Tokyo Research Laboratory and Fuji Factory in 1964. The first US entity, Kowa Research Institute, Inc. was established in North Carolina in 1997 to start clinical development. Kowa purchased ProEthic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and changed its name to Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., where it began distributing ethical drugs, Livalo® (pitavastatin) and Lipofen® (fenofibrate) in the US.

In June 2012, Kowa Health Care America, Inc. started its business in Los Angeles, focusing on the sale and distribution of dietary supplements and wellness products.

Kowa Group has consistently evolved and continues to grow expanding across the world for over 100 years.