Vaccine scandal: chairman of Chinese pharmaceutical Firm Changsheng Biotech arrested

Vaccine scandal: Chinese pharma firm chairman arrested, President Xi says its shocking

Vaccine scandal: Chinese pharma firm chairman arrested, President Xi says its shocking

Chinese state media say a total of 15 people have been detained in a growing scandal over the faking of records by a rabies vaccine maker. They also ordered an investigation into possible dereliction of duty among food and drug officials, and vowed stern punishment for those involved.

People were now openly asking why authorities hadn't done more to prevent the issue, he said, adding that the government needed to show a tough stance to ensure this did not become an issue that threatened social stability. This is probably the highest-level of code red the government faces. The firm was also found to have sold 252,600 substandard DPT vaccines, a mandatory vaccine in China to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

News that pharmaceutical company Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology had fabricated records and been forced to stop manufacturing rabies vaccines was first reported more than a week ago.

The stock of Changchun Changsheng remains in free fall, dropping the "10 percent daily maximum allowed within minutes of opening trade, extending their decline since July 13 to 52 percent", the Financial Times reports (paywall), and the company "does not expect its operations to be able to resume within three months", according to Reuters.

Marina Cui - a 25-year-old mother from the southwestern Yunnan province whose five-month old child took a DPT vaccine last week - said the latest revelations had made her anxious about the overall safety of vaccines.

The WHO has also offered to support vaccine manufacturers in China to ensure that they comply with worldwide standards and meet WHO pre-qualification expectations. In 2016, Chinese police busted a gang for selling around $90 million worth of illegal vaccines on the black market.

Also, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for an immediate investigation into the sale of 250,000 faulty rabies vaccines as panic grows over product safety.

Last week, European regulators found that a common blood pressure and heart drug manufactured in bulk by Chinese firm Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical may have contained an impurity linked to cancer since 2012.

The announcement did not give the chairwoman's full name but she has previously been identified as Gao Junfang. Some clues and reports of corruption related to Changsheng and its executives had already been received, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement.

Those probes are in addition to investigations by the drug watchdog as well as the securities regulator, which is looking at whether Changsheng violated information disclosure rules.

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