|Japanese and foreign drug firms, including Takeda and Pfizer in dodgy Alzheimer's study scandal
Japan's health ministry said it was investigating claims falsified data was used in an Alzheimer's disease study involving major pharmaceutical companies.
Researchers are being questioned after being told false data was used in clinical testing for the US$28 million government-backed Alzheimer's study, aimed at improving diagnosis of the disease.
The research involved 11 drugs companies, including Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb and Japanese giants Takeda Pharmaceutical and Astellas Pharma, medical imaging companies and nearly 40 hospitals and medical organizations. The public and privately-financed study, dubbed J-ADNI, began in 2007.
A former Tokyo University professor and project researcher on the Alzheimer's study reported the false data claims to health officials.
“After verifying the facts about these allegations, we will deal with the issue appropriately, setting up an investigation team if necessary,'' a health ministry official told AFP.
Health Minister Norihisa Tamura told reporters in Tokyo: “If there really has been data falsification, that would be a grave problem, so we are investigating carefully.’’
Asahi Shimbun said it obtained internal documents highlighting at least four instances where researchers linked to the drugs makers and medical institutions tried to falsify data.
In response, a Pfizer spokesman in Japan said the drugs giant supplied some financing for the research, but did not employ any researchers.
Others firms could not immediately be reached for comment.