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Avigan ingredient shortage hits Japan stockpile plan

Lack of element from China spurs to push to find domestic suppliers

Avigan developer Fujifilm is turning to domestic sources of raw materials to make the drug after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the goverment plans to increase its stockpile.

TOKYO -- Japan's push to triple its stockpile of anti-flu medicine Avigan for coronavirus treatment has proven a challenge as the lack of a raw ingredient from China forces Fujifilm Holdings to switch to a domestic supplier.

The frantic scramble for a production boost has highlighted Japan's heavy reliance on foreign-sourced ingredients as well as the nation's slow drug approval process -- issues both the government and pharmaceutical sector will have to grapple with.

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