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Chinese premier slams drug maker after vaccine scandal

Published on 23/07/18 at 08:43am

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has spoken out against drug maker Changsheng Biotechnology after the Chinese firm was found to have forged production documents for a rabies vaccine.

Changsheng were found to have fabricated production records and product inspection records in relation to a rabies vaccine that is given to children as young as three months old.

The discovery, made during a sudden inspection of the company’s facilities, has led to shares in the Shenzhen-listed company to drop by 10%, as shares in Chinese biotech firms and vaccine makers fell across the board. Changsheng quickly issued a public apology as the firm faces its second drug safety scandal in as many years.

While there have been no reports of people being harmed by Changsheng’s vaccines as of yet, the company have begun to recall all rabies vaccines available on the market, in a process which is estimated to cost more than ¥200 million ($30 million).

In a statement posted on the Chinese government’s website, Premier Li declared that "(We) must resolutely strike with heavy blows all law-breaking criminal behaviour, severely punish the criminals according to the law, and hold accountable those who were negligent in supervision," as he suggested that the company had crossed a "line of human ethics".

The China Food and Drug Administration has revoked Changsheng’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate having ordered the drug maker to terminate the production of its Vero-cell rabies vaccines.

The case which has gone viral on Chinese social media has incited “nationwide outrage”, as state owned media called on the government to ensure that it “will punish any wrongdoers without mercy”.

Louis Goss

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