Fifteen people have died, and more than 2,500 suffered severe side effects, after taking Teravic — a hepatitis C drug produced by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp., it was learned Saturday.
Most of the dead had been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, informed sources said. They added that Teravic is not intended for use by individuals with cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Teravic was administered to a total of 11,135 patients between its launch in November 2011 and September last year. Of those individuals, 2,588, or 23 percent, reported serious sides effects, such as dermatitis, or skin inflammation, all over the body, the sources said.
The 15 deaths had all occurred by February this year, and it cannot be ruled out that they might have been caused by the drug, the sources said.
Mitsubishi Tanabe officials said the company has provided doctors with sufficient information on Teravic to ensure correct use of the drug. The firm has also reported the side effects to the health ministry, they added.