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Kobayashi Pharmaceutical To Withdraw Red Yeast Rice Capsules From The Market After 2 Two Fatalities

The Japanese health authorities have taken swift action by ordering Kobayashi Pharmaceutical (4967.T) to recall three dietary supplement products containing red yeast rice, also known as beni koji, following reports linking these supplements to two deaths. Additionally, more than 100 individuals have been hospitalized after consuming these supplements, which were marketed for their purported ability to lower cholesterol levels.

Based in Osaka, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical is currently investigating a potential connection between the consumption of these products and adverse effects on kidney health. Red yeast rice, or beni koji, contains Monascus purpureus, a type of red mold commonly utilized as a coloring agent in certain foods.

In response to these developments, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical has taken proactive measures by urging 52 manufacturers to recall various products, including tofu and miso, that incorporate beni koji supplied by the company. The severity of the situation is reflected in the company’s stock performance, with its share price plummeting nearly 20% since the initial voluntary recall announcement on Friday. On Wednesday, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s shares closed down 3.8% at 4,875 yen.

This incident underscores the critical importance of stringent quality control and regulatory oversight within the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries to ensure consumer safety. Authorities and companies alike are expected to continue their investigations to determine the exact cause of the adverse reactions associated with these products and to implement appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.


Joan David-Leonhard

Joan David Leonhard is a recent Pharm.D graduate with a strong passion for the pharmaceutical industry and a particular interest in pharmaceutical media and communication. Her brief internship experience includes roles in pharmacy where she built strong patient-pharmacist relationships and a pharmaceutical media internship where she actively contributed to drug information articles, blog posts, social media engagement, and various media projects.
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