Drugmaker Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. said Friday two of its employees contravened internal rules on impartiality during a clinical study relating to an anemia drug.
It said the pair, whose work involved analyzing clinical data, obtained the personal details of patients involved.
The research was done in 2012 and 2013 by a doctor at Sapporo Higashi Tokushukai Hospital in Hokkaido. The hospital said Friday the head of its nephrology department had been told to resign in March for serious violations of ethical guidelines, by beginning research before getting approval from its ethics committee. The individual was not named.
The hospital said the manager released personal data on the roughly 30 patients who took part in the study, including medicine dosages and weights. The manager gave the data to Kyowa Hakko Kirin without their consent, the hospital said, but added the patients suffered no adverse health effects.
The doctor began collecting blood samples from patients before the study was approved, in December 2012.