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Fake medicine firm fined, banned after 11 deaths
Latest Updated by 2006-07-03 15:28:13
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A pharmaceutical company that made a drug which killed 11 people in Guangdong Province has been fined 19 million yuan (US$2.3 million) by a drug watchdog.

The production licence of the Qiqihar No 2 Pharmaceutical Company, based in Northeast China, has also been revoked by the Heilongjiang provincial food and drug administration and the sale of the firm's drugs banned.

The State Food and Drug Administration has ordered all products which have already been sold to be traced and destroyed.

The provincial government has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident while the central government has launched a nationwide review of pharmaceutical plants.

The latest victim of the drug, a 54-year-old man, died last weekend after taking the medicine several weeks ago. His death brought the death toll in one of China's worst tainted medicine scandals to 11.

No other death cases have been reported in other regions besides Guangdong.

The man, surnamed Chen, died of heart failure in hospital in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province.

Chen had been hospitalized at the end of April with serious hepatitis, said Gao Zhiliang, director of the infection department at No 3 Zhongshan Hospital, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

After being given an injection using a drug from the Qiqihar No 2 Pharmaceutical Company, he showed symptoms of massive organ dysfunction and fell into a coma.

Three other patients in the same hospital were still ill after being given the drug, but their conditions are no longer life threatening, doctors said.

The drug contained diglycol, which causes pain in the alimentary canal and stomach and damages the kidneys, nervous system and liver.

One ton of diglycol was sold to the Qiqihar No 2 Pharmaceutical Company's factory last November as propylene glycol, an auxiliary material for injections. The company's quality inspectors failed to discover the problem.

Using diglycol, the company produced the injection, mainly for treating cholecystitis, or inflammation of the gall bladder wall, and gastritis.

Jiangsu Province's Wang Guiping who was arrested on May 12 has admitted selling the diglycol. He told the authorities that profit was his motive because diglycol is much cheaper than propylene glycol. The status of his case was unclear last night .

Editor: Yan

By: Guo Nei Source: China Daily Website
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