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Japan probes 76 deaths linked to pharเลขวิ่งบน 1000000ma products

Multilayered market ge | เลขวิ่งบน 1000000 | Updated: 2024-07-19 20:39:14

This file photo taken on March 29, 2024 shows Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. president Akihiro Kobayashi (2nd L) and others bowing their heads at the beginning of a press conference in Osaka after the company's dietary supplements were at the center of a growing health scare. [Photo/Agencies]

Japan is looking into 76 deaths possibly linked to dietary supplements of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical containing red yeast rice, Japan's Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Keizo Takemi said at a news conference on Friday, providing an update on the health scandal.

A total of 79 deaths were earlier suspected as having possible links to the firm's supplements containing red yeast rice, but three of those deaths have been determined to be unrelated to those products, according to the update as reported by The Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Previously, Kobayashi had reported to the health ministry that the number of deaths was five.

Takemi said it is extremely regrettable that Kobayashi did not report the number of deaths even though the ministry had confirmed the number with the company.

Research by the Japanese Society of Nephrology confirmed that many of those who have complained of health problems after taking the supplements have shown symptoms and test results suggesting Fanconi syndrome, a condition caused by damage to the tubules in the kidneys.

The ministry reported on May 28 that blue mold was found in the cultivation chambers and tanks at Kobayashi's factories in Osaka and Wakayama prefectures, leading to the production of puberulic acid, which caused kidney damage.

In China's Taiwan region, a consumer protection association announced at a news conference in Kaohsiung on Thursday that people who complained of ill health after consuming products made with Kobayashi's red yeast rice ingredient would file a class action lawsuit seeking compensation for damages from the company's branch in the Taiwan region.

More than 30 people have already agreed to participate in the lawsuit through the association, and participants will be invited until the end of July.

This product safety scandal has raised concerns among Chinese tourists and business travelers who said such incidents may erode their trust in Japanese drugs and health products.

Li Xiang, a 42-year-old visitor from Shanghai on a business trip to Tokyo in May, expressed surprise upon learning about kidney disorders linked to Kobayashi's supplements containing red yeast rice, noting that Japanese products have long been trusted.

"Now, when I buy health products or medicines in Japan, I feel a bit worried that the quality of the products may not be as guaranteed as people imagine," Li said.

"For me, if a company encounters such problems, I won't trust it anymore and won't consider buying its products again."

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