Two Kobayashi Pharma Factories Inspected After Mysterious Deaths

On Sunday, health authorities extended their investigation into Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s operations, searching for a second factory located in western Japan.

This move comes in response to the company’s disclosure of five deaths potentially linked to dietary supplements, as confirmed by officials.

The inspection in Wakayama prefecture follows a similar investigation carried out on Saturday at a facility in Osaka, as authorities go deeper into the drugmaker’s utilization of “Beni-Koji” red yeast materials.

The supplements were marketed for their purported ability to reduce cholesterol levels. (Credits: Yuri Kageyama)

According to Kobayashi, during their examination at the Osaka factory, they uncovered what appeared to be puberulic acid, a potentially toxic substance that could have originated from blue mold penicillium, within the Beni-Koji materials produced between April and October of the previous year.

Reportedly, as of Friday (March 29), a total of 114 individuals had been hospitalized, with five fatalities recorded after consuming the supplements.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. President Akihiro Kobayashi (Credits: Kyodo)

Although the exact cause of these deaths remains unconfirmed, a ministry official stated, “it is suspected that Beni-Koji may be the cause, so we have inspected two factories in two days.”

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical announced on Friday that it was actively investigating a potential connection between its products and reported cases of kidney disease, emphasizing its commitment to full cooperation with the investigation “to resolve the problems as early as possible.”

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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