New Japan research scandal brewing over Alzheimer's study
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's health ministry said on Friday it was probing claims that falsified data was used in an Alzheimer's disease study involving major pharmaceutical firms, a day after filing an unrelated criminal complaint against Swiss drugs giant Novartis.
Health officials said they were questioning researchers after being told false data was used in clinical testing for the US$28 million (S$36 million) government-backed Alzheimer's study, aimed at improving diagnosis of the disease.
The research involved 11 drugs firms, including Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb and Japanese giants Takeda Pharmaceutical and Astellas Pharma, medical imaging companies and nearly 40 hospitals and medical organisations. The public and privately-financed study, dubbed J-ADNI, began in 2007.
The allegations came to light just a day after Japanese officials slapped Novartis with a criminal complaint which alleged its local unit exaggerated advertising for popular blood-pressure drug Diovan.