Several Chinese pharma companies involved in medicine affair

Autor: Thanh Duy Tran
Date: 09.08.2018

Tianyu and Rundu have allegedly sold carcinogenic medicine to Taiwan

The medicine scandal in China is becoming bigger and bigger. At the beginning of this week two pharma companies were associated with contaminated high blood pressure products that were exported to Taiwan and allegedly cause cancer.
A similar case was unveiled from Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical about one month ago.

Traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine or better known as NDMA, which shall be carcinogenic, were found in different types of the medicine valsartan from Zhuhai Rundu Pharmaceutical and Zhejiang Tianyu Pharmaceutical.

According to the AFP news agency Tianyu as well as Rundu gave an explanation to the Shenzhen exchange on Monday, were both companies are listed. Due to that the stock of both companies dropped by the maximum of 10 percent.

The Chinese healthcare market was the second largest in 2017 with an amount of $ 122.6 billion according to a big pharma group. The Chinese market was also the fastest growing healthcare market worldwide with expected turnover increase from $ 145 billion to $ 175 billion until 2022.

Due to scandals like the sale of 250.000 inferior anti-rabies vaccines by Changsheng Biotechnology or poor quality checks and faulty production data the trust in their own pharma industry is lost.

Besides the chairwomen of the company 14 more people from the headquarters were imprisoned in Changchun last month because of “suspicion of criminal offenses”.

To strengthen the whole scandal the authorities publishes information about inferior vaccines again pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus that were sold from Changsheng to Shandong last year.

Viola Rothschild, a research fellow for Asia studies at the council of foreign relations in Washington, explained in a post that all those scandals had large effects on china’s reputation and led to strong criticism of the abilities of the government to control the country and to doubts if China should further try to globally sell pharma products.

She also said “To make matters even worse, the Changsheng incident also comes hot on the heels of another unsettling revelation: just a few weeks ago China’s Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical recalled a heart and blood pressure drug sold in the United States and Europe after finding that it was tainted with an impurity linked to cancer”.

The only way to whitewash the situation of the Chinese pharma industry is a fundamental change of policies from Beijing.