August 18, 2018

15 detained in China rabies vaccine scandal

27 July 2018, 01:02 | Silvia Roy

Bitter pill: China vaccine scandal sparks fury, roils markets

Vaccine scandal: Chinese pharma firm chairman arrested, President Xi says its shocking

The officials have already ordered Changsheng to freeze production and recall all its vaccines, however, no apparent case of people being harmed or have contracted rabies was reported.

As public outrage over the scandal snowballed this week, political leadership in Beijing, eager to maintain confidence in China's vaccine industry, has responded with sharp condemnation of the firm and calls for swift punishment.

"Anything that touches on drug or food safety also involving children is just a huge hot button in China", said Mr Kent Kedl, Shanghai-based senior partner at consultancy Control Risks.

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One reason product safety is such an explosive issue is that children have been among the victims of the worst Chinese scandals of the last decade, including a massive 2008 scandal over milk and baby formula tainted by the chemical melamine, which gives the appearance of higher protein levels.

The Chinese internet remains in an uproar after news that Changchun Changsheng, a vaccine producer in China's northeastern Jilin Province, forged data and produced over 250,000 substandard vaccines. Li Xiaolai took to social media on Monday to argue that since the production and distribution of vaccines is a public affair, then all the processes involved should be publicized while suggesting that a distributed public ledger system is best suited for the job.

Changsheng's shares plunged by their daily limit of 10 per cent yesterday, extending falls that have seen the stock lose US$1.8 billion (S$2.5 billion) or more than half its value since the middle of the month.

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Trading in its shares will be suspended on Wednesday and resume on Thursday.

The WHO is awaiting the results of further investigations into the sweeping vaccine scandal and stands ready to provide China's national health authorities with any necessary support, the statement said. Macau's health bureau said current supply was sufficient for residents and there was no need for concern.

The Changsheng case is the latest in a slew of scandals that has plagued China's pharmaceutical industry in recent years. To that end, WHO is also supporting vaccine manufacturers in China to ensure that they comply with worldwide standards and meet WHO Prequalification expectations. In 2016, Chinese police busted a gang for selling around $90 million worth of illegal vaccines on the black market. She has previously been identified as Gao Junfang.

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The company may have halted more ad purchases than expected as it applied a broad definition of what's considered "political". Of 47 analysts covering Facebook , 43 still rate the stock as "buy", two rate it "hold" and only two rate it "sell".

The other 14 were also executives at the company, state broadcaster CCTV said on Wednesday.

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