• Kyodo News


so that the causal links with it cannot be denied,” the doctor said in the opinion.

The 2005 case involved a 14-year-old male junior high school student in Aichi Prefecture who jumped to his death from an apartment.

In a report on the case by Chugai Pharmaceutical, the doctor who was in charge of the teenager said: “What I can say is that the use (of Tamiflu) might be linked. It is unclear whether the student’s fall was caused by side effects (of the drug).”

In January 2006, the health ministry said that after hearing the opinions of numerous experts, it was “negative” to possible causal relationships between Tamiflu and abnormal behavior.

But the ministry has kept no documents listing the names of the experts or their views.

In March, the ministry was asked by Kyodo News to disclose documents regarding experts’ opinions on the controversial drug. The health ministry replied that although it has interviewed experts and collected their opinions on Tamiflu, no documents recording those opinions exist.

After receiving persistent reports of abnormal behavior linked to Tamiflu, the health ministry banned prescription of the drug on March 20 to people aged 10 to 19.

On April 4, the health ministry said that as of March 21, 128 people — predominantly teenagers — had reportedly exhibited abnormal behavior after taking Tamiflu, which went on sale in Japan in February 2001.

Two weeks later, the ministry added 59 others to the list.

Of the 128 cases announced April 4, however, one was found to be unrelated to Tamiflu, bringing the total for suspicious Tamiflu cases to 186, it said.

Earlier this year, two university professors who denied there are causal links between Tamiflu and abnormal behavior were found to have received donations from Chugai Pharmaceutical.

Tamiflu is produced by the Swiss-based pharmaceutical maker F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd. and imported for sale in Japan by Chugai Pharmaceutical, the Roche group’s Japan unit.

Japan is a major consumer of Tamiflu, known to be an effective drug in containing flu symptoms if taken early. The government is building a stockpile of the drug to prepare for a possible pandemic that may involve a new type of influenza.

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