Tokyo District Court on Wednesday ordered both the Japanese government and a unit of Britain’s AstraZeneca PLC to pay a total of 17.6 million yen in reparations for two people who died from the side effects from the Iressa lung cancer drug.
The ruling came after Osaka District Court in February ordered damages payments only by the importer of the drug, AstraZeneca K.K., arguing that the state’s response could not be judged irrational.
In the Tokyo case, relatives of three deceased patients called for damages of 77 million yen in total for the three from the AstraZeneca unit and the state. Wednesday’s ruling turned down a claim for damages for one of them.
The defendants are considering appealing the ruling.
Presiding judge Shigeo Matsunami held the state responsible, saying that the government failed to give sufficient instructions to the company on safety at the time the drug was approved.