GSK hep B supplies to Japan hit by Tianjin explosion

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) faces constraints in supplying hepatitis B treatment Tenozet in Japan because of curbed operations at its China plant that makes the treatment after a massive chemical explosion that rocked country's Tianjin manufacturing hub in early August.

Nikkei Asian Review said cleanup operations related to the Aug. 12 blast have blocked access to the plant where Tenozet is produced and the facility has remained idled since last month's explosion.

GSK received PPMDA approval for Tenozet in May of last year with the Japan Society of Hepatology designating it as a drug of first choice for treating hepatitis B, Nikkei said.

Around 7,000 of the estimated 1.5 million people in Japan who suffer from hepatitis B take Tenozet, Nikkei said

The company told Nikkei that at the end of August it had a two-month inventory in Japan, with its local subsidiary in the country rushing to get production facilities in place.

But pending production approval, GSK is also looking to possibly secure supplies from other companies, Nikkei said, adding that doctors are urged to limit the amount of drug dispensed per prescription and from giving prescriptions to new patients.

- here's the story from Nikkei Asian Review