Thursday, December 13, 2007

China Shuts Down Leukemia Drug Maker

perhaps the Chinese understand that they need to make serious progress on this issue...

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- China's food and drug safety agency has revoked the license of a company responsible for making tainted leukemia drugs blamed for causing leg pains and partial paralysis among dozens of patients.

State-owned Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical Co., a unit of China's biggest drug maker Shanghai Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., will also be fined the highest amount allowed under law and profits from the sale of the contaminated drugs will be confiscated, the State Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on its Web site seen Thursday.

Some Shanghai Hualian executives were detained by police on suspicion they deliberately withheld information about violations of production standards during the investigation, the SFDA's statement said.

A report in the state-run newspaper Shanghai Daily said the maximum fine for a breach of regulations was only $4,000.

Shanghai city government officials said they were cooperating with the SFDA in resolving the case.

Calls to Shanghai Pharmaceutical rang unanswered Thursday morning. Calls to numbers listed for Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical were answered with a "this number does not exist" recording.

The investigation into Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical was one of a slew of cases involving contaminated or bogus drugs and foods that have prompted tighter enforcement of safety regulations

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