Japan university reveals more claims of fabricated drug data

A Japanese university Wednesday said it would retract a study that touted the effectiveness of a blood pressure drug made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis because it was based on fabricated data.

The move was the latest chapter in a growing scandal over allegations that bogus data were used in a string of Japanese university studies for the drug Valsartan which exaggerated its effectiveness in preventing strokes and angina.

On Wednesday, Tokyo's Jikei University School of Medicine said it would retract research that appeared in respected medical journal The Lancet six years ago.

"We will report the conclusions of our investigation to Lancet so the study can be withdrawn," a university spokesman told AFP.

The school's probe concluded that the research, led by one of Jikei's professors, relied on data analysis by an unnamed former Novartis employee, who was also involved in at least one other school's research which has been thrown into question.

The fresh allegations come less than two weeks after Japan's said it was very likely that tests for Valsartan were based on incomplete clinical data.

Jikei University's probe also found it had received about $85,000 worth of grants from Novartis for the study, pointing to a , it said.

The local unit of Novartis could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

On Monday, Yoshiyasu Ninomiya, head of the Swiss firm's Japanese unit, apologised for the involvement of an employee in university studies.

But he stood by other tests that said Valsartan is effective at preventing strokes and angina, as well as controlling .

Novartis sells the drug under the name Diovan in Japan, where it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market. It is licensed for use in more than 100 countries.

Three other Japanese universities are investigating similar claims, local media reported.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novartis chief sees sales dip until mid-2013

Oct 07, 2012

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis said Sunday the expiry of a US patent for its leading hypertension drug Diovan caused a drop in turnover that could last into the first half of 2013.

Britain snubs costly Novartis blood cancer drug

Feb 13, 2013

British health authorities said on Wednesday they would not recommend Jakavi, a drug produced by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to treat a rare form of blood cancer, deeming it too expensive.

Recommended for you

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

16 hours ago

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. University of Greenwich scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

Oct 20, 2014

New medications created by pharmaceutical companies have helped millions of Americans alleviate pain and suffering from their medical conditions. However, the drug creation process often misses many side ...

User comments