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Even if one uses a medical drug properly, side effects cannot be ruled out. Thirty years have passed since the system to provide relief for sufferers from drug side effects was established in Japan. People should know more about this system and use it when necessary.

Drug-induced suffering such as SMON (subacute myelo-optico-neuropathy) — caused by chinoform, a drug for intestinal disorders — as well as the births of thalidomide babies prompted the establishment of the relief system in 1980. Sufferers can receive relief without filing lawsuits. Government subsidies and contributions from some 750 pharmaceutical companies support the system, which is administered by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA).

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