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Companies Recall Medicines with Poison Capsule; Police Detained 54

04-24 14:11 Caijing
Several of nine pharmaceutical companies exposed to a widely concerned drug scandal have started recalling capsules, while police detained 54 and shut down illegal drug factories in a stepped-up crackdown on chromium

Several of nine pharmaceutical companies exposed to a widely concerned drug scandal have started recalling capsules, while police detained 54 and shut down illegal drug factories in a stepped-up crackdown on chromium-tainted gel capsules made from industrial waste.

Xiuzheng Pharmaceutical Group, a leading Chinese drug maker, is reportedly recalling all of their medicines with gel capsules across the country, two weeks after the official CCTV reported illegal drug makers used industrial gelatin instead of edible gelatin to produce medicines in Hebei, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and other provinces.

According to 21st Economic Herald, a drug store in Guangzhou was told by Xiuzheng in telephone to stop sales of all of medicines with capsules, claiming that it was a “recall required by the State Food and Drug Administration”.

Xiuzheng’s CEO Xiu Laigui missed a scheduled drug trade fare last Friday because “the whole company (staff) is fully engaged in the medicine recalls,” according to the company’s spokesperson Li Jia.

The recall may cost huge damage to the company. Industry watchers say one of the 67 products to be recalled may has a value of over 400 million yuan.

Shares of another company, Tonghua Jinma Pharmaceutical, had plunged by 9.35 percent on Monday from April 16. The company, who is recalling 19 of its products, finally conceded last Friday that its capsules were chromium tainted.

Crackdown

Police have arrested nine people and detained 54 others and seized more than 77 million capsules tainted with chromium after a week of inspections centered on Zhejiang, Hebei and Jiangxi provinces, the Ministry of Public Security said on Saturday in a statement on its website.

More than 80 illegal production lines had been shut down, the ministry said, adding that more inspection teams have been sent to investigate the incident.

Police also arrested a township official in northern China’s Hebei province who allegedly ordered the torching of a gel capsule factory owned by his brother in an apparent attempt to evade the crackdown.

In central China’s Chongqing Municipality, local food and drug ministry suspended sales of more than one thousand boxes of capsules-kind medicines.

While there have been no reports of death so far from the tainted gel capsules, long-term exposure to chromium can cause serious organ damage.

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