China to track poorly stored vaccines sold illegally

March 22, 2016

China's Food and Drug Administration has ordered local governments to track the whereabouts of poorly refrigerated and probably ineffective vaccines after police detained a woman thought to have sold nearly $100 million worth of the suspect products nationwide.

The scandal has reawakened longstanding concerns among the public over the safety of food and medicine. Nine pharmaceutical wholesalers believed to have sold the vaccines are being investigated.

The administration on Monday ordered a thorough check on where the vaccines were distributed and how they may have been used. The central government administration demanded local authorities investigate the nine wholesalers believed to have sold the vaccines.

The vaccines included those for hepatitis B, rabies, mumps and Japanese encephalitis. Poorly stored vaccines may lose their potency and cause side effects.

A 47-year-old former doctor has been detained in the eastern province of Shandong for allegedly selling the vaccines to nationwide distributors. Police told state media that the suspect, identified by her last name Pang, had earlier been convicted of illegally selling vaccines in 2009 and sentenced to three years in prison. She was released after the sentence was suspended for five years.

State media reports say Pang sold about 2 million doses of suspect vaccines. Shandong's provincial food and drug safety administration has publicized a list of buyers and sellers.

Amid widespread counterfeiting and lax enforcement, China has struggled to ensure food and drug safety. Past scandals have involved phony infant formula discovered to be nothing but starch and bogus vaccines containing only saline solution.

Explore further: Beneficial co-contribution of rotavirus vaccines and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines

Related Stories

Beneficial co-contribution of rotavirus vaccines and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines

September 21, 2015
Researchers show that the introduction of both pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) and rotavirus vaccines (RVs) led to the rapid and dramatic reduction in hospital burden of both winter diarrhea and respiratory infections ...

Merck, Sanofi Pasteur ending JV to market vaccines in Europe

March 8, 2016
Merck and Sanofi Pasteur are ending their partnership, begun in 1994, to market the drugmakers' vaccines in Europe.

Novartis insists its flu vaccines are safe

October 25, 2012
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis insisted early Thursday that its flu vaccines were safe despite a sales ban by Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

Italy lifts ban on Novartis flu vaccines

November 9, 2012
Italian health authorities on Friday lifted a ban on the sale of flu vaccines made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, saying that tests had shown they were not a health risk.

Severe reaction to pneumococcal vaccines in patients with CAPS

February 1, 2016
(HealthDay)—Pneumococcal vaccines can trigger a severe local and systemic inflammatory reaction in patients with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS), according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis ...

EU drug regulator starts safety review of HPV vaccines

July 13, 2015
The European Medicines Agency says it has started a review of cervical cancer vaccines to see if they are linked to two rare conditions, but emphasized it hasn't changed its recommendations for how the shots should be used.

Recommended for you

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

Introduction is different, but top medications for opioid addiction equally effective

November 14, 2017
With opioid addiction officially declared a public health emergency in the U.S., medical intervention to treat the illness is increasingly important in responding to the epidemic. Now, a new study concludes that two of the ...

Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients

November 7, 2017
Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.