$39 billion settlement for Japanese hepatitis B sufferers

Japanese Hepatitis B sufferers thought to have caught the disease from repeated use of needles during a vaccination programme have agreed to settle a dispute with the state, at the cost of $39 billion.

The decision will bring to an end a series of lawsuits across the country but it will pose the government with a headache as it looks for ways to raise the 3.2 trillion yen, with the possibility it may have to to raise taxes.

Tokyo had already expressed a readiness to accept the proposal, bringing to an end the country’s largest medical dispute that will see it compensate about 430,000 people infected with the potentially fatal disease during decades ago.

Read the rest of the story: Japan hepatitis B patients agree to $39 bln deal.

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