China launches nationwide probe on vaccine production

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/26 23:08:41

Jilin drug official prosecuted for abuse of power


China's drug watchdog will launch a nationwide inspection of the country's vaccine enterprises after authorities halted the production at a vaccine giant amid public outrage.

According to a statement published by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on Wednesday night, from July 25, teams are being dispatched to thoroughly investigate the whole process and the entire chain of vaccine production of all vaccine producers. The investigation follows an earlier examination of 45 vaccine producers that began at the beginning of the year.

The inspection also came after the vaccine manufacturer Changsheng Biotechnology Corporation halted its production for the next three months and 15 people from the company including Gao Junfang, the company chairman, were detained.

The CFDA told the Global Times that they did not find any quality issues in the vaccines in the market, and will conduct laboratory tests on samples of the company's products.

On Thursday, prosecutors in Jilin Province, where the company is located, initiated public prosecution against Cui Honghai, former director of the Jilin Provincial Food and Drug Administration, for using his official capacity to make profits for others and illegally taking other people's property, news site thepaper.cn reported. It is unknown whether the charges against Cui are related to the vaccine case.

Apart from Changsheng Biotechnology, another vaccine company, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Product Company, also came to the spotlight on Thursday as the public questions the whereabouts and effectiveness of the 400,000 substandard DPT vaccines which were sold to Chongqing and Hebei Province.

The CFDA said the vaccines produced by the company have been confiscated. The company later underwent rectification, and has now resumed production after the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control tested its 30 batches of DPT vaccines and deemed them qualified.

According to the website of the Wuhan Food and Drug Administration, an administrative penalty published on July 13 said the company was fined by the administration on May 29. The penalty said the DPT vaccines were substandard, and illegal income has been confiscated, but amount of the fine was not revealed.

An interview request to the Wuhan Food and Drug Administration received no response as of press time.

According to China Judgments Online, the company has been involved in several cases of bribing disease control centers officials. For example, an employee surnamed Wang bribed Li Chuantao, former director of the disease control center in Lixin county, Anhui Province, with 40,000 yuan ($5,897.5).

Meanwhile, the website also showed that the company was sued several times for bad reactions after vaccine injections. For example, a verdict released on October 11, 2017 shows that Wang, born in December 2012, appeared to have a fever after being injected with the DPT vaccines produced by the company.

Wang was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection by Wuhan's Third Hospital the next day. In October 2013, Wang was diagnosed as having epilepsy. Experts in Wuhan deemed it an abnormal reaction to the vaccine injection.



 


Newspaper headline: Vaccines probed nationwide


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