Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan

Day of action held calling for elimination of drug-induced sufferings

Victims of the use of harmful drugs assembled in Tokyo from around the country on August 24 to demand that the government act to eliminate drug-induced sufferings and take relief measures for them. Participants in the assembly met with Health Minister Kawasaki Jiro and submitted a letter of requests to him.

It is an annual action that has been held on every August 24 by the National Liaison Council of Organizations of Victims of Harmful Effects of Drugs. On that day in 1999, the Health Ministry erected a memorial in its courtyard pledging to make every effort to prevent tragedies from being caused by drugs like the HIV-tainted blood products, thalidomide, and chinoform that caused SMON disease.

Yamaguchi Michiko, a representative of the plaintiffs in drug-caused hepatitis lawsuits, said, "We demand that the government act to help patients with the hepatitis virus recover their health and to prevent drugs with harmful effects from being used."

Ms Yamaguchi was diagnosed as having acute hepatitis after being treated with the hemostatic agent fibrinogen in September 1987 when she gave birth to a second son. She joined with other victims of the use of fibrinogen to sue the state and a pharmaceutical company demanding damages and improvement in the treatment system for patients

Japanese Communist Party member of House of Councilors Nihi Sohei spoke to the participants in the assembly and pointed out that the massive use of fibrinogen was made possible by allowing retiring Health Ministry bureaucrats to be hired by drug manufacturers. He said, "The state must withdraw its appeal against the Osaka District Court ruling of June 21 that determined that the state is responsible for the drug-induced sufferings and must take comprehensive relief measures for the victims."
- Akahata, August 25, 2006

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.