Xi orders thorough investigation into illegal vaccine production

President Xi Jinping has ordered thorough investigation into an illegal vaccine production case and serious punishment for those found responsible.

President Xi Jinping has ordered thorough investigation into an illegal vaccine production case and serious punishment for those found responsible as police started investigating five people yesterday involved in the case.

Xi, on a four-nation trip to UAE and Africa, made the calls yesterday for a thorough investigation and stern action over the latest safety scare to hit the pharmaceutical industry.

“Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology’s illegal production of vaccines is vile in nature and shocking,” the Central China Television quoted Xi as saying.

The people’s health should always be a top priority and the bottom line of safety should be resolutely guarded, Xi said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has also vowed stern action over the latest scandal over a rabies vaccine. 

Li said the latest case had crossed a “line of human ethics,” and he vowed a thorough investigation and harsh consequences for any infractions or lax supervision.

“(We) must resolutely strike with heavy blows all law-breaking criminal behavior, severely punish the criminals according to the law, and hold accountable those who were negligent in supervision,” Li said in a statement on Sunday on the Chinese central government’s official website.

Police in northeast China’s Jilin Province yesterday started investigating five people from a local vaccine company over suspected crime in the production of the rabies vaccine for human use. 

Criminal investigation

The chairwoman surnamed Gao, and four high-ranking managers of the Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Limited are under criminal investigation, according to the Changchun New Area branch of the public security bureau of Changchun City.

China Food and Drug Administration said on Sunday they had discovered that the company had fabricated production records and product inspection records and arbitrarily changed process parameters and equipment during its production of freeze-dried human rabies vaccines.

The CFDA revoked the company’s drug GMP certificate due to its severe violations of laws and regulations, and demanded a recall of all unused vaccines, a CFDA official said.

Meanwhile, China’s top securities watchdog has begun an investigation into breaches of information disclosure rules by major vaccine-maker Changsheng Life Sciences Limited. According to an announcement made by the company yesterday, it has received a notice from the China Securities Regulatory Commission over its suspected malpractice. The Shenzhen-listed company faces the risk of being delisted or trading suspension if regulators confirm any substantial illegal act or the investigation is transferred to the public security department.

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange said on Friday it has taken regulatory measures against the company. The vaccine-maker told the bourse that it did not withhold information nor defer disclosure of the rabies vaccine incident.

China’s drug regulator said on Sunday that it had ordered the firm to stop production of rabies vaccines.

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