China jabs recalled after 3 deaths

October 18, 2008 12:00 am

, BEIJING, October 18 – The Chinese manufacturer of a ginseng injection that killed three people has recalled all its injection products, the country’s drug safety watchdog said Saturday.

Wandashan Pharmaceutical, based in the northeast province of Heilongjiang, voluntarily recalled all its injection products on Friday, the State Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on its website.

Six hospital patients in southwest China were given the ginseng injection at the beginning of October, and subsequently began to suffer chills, vomiting and sudden drops in blood pressure.

Three of them died, and the other three remain under observation, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The incident comes as China grapples with the health and economic impact of the widespread contamination of the country’s milk with an industrial chemical.

Melamine contamination of milk products has killed at least four children in China and sickened 53,000, and has prompted bans or recalls of Chinese goods around the world.

Sales and use of Wandashan’s ginseng injection had already been suspended, and China’s drug safety watchdog also called for sales and use of all injection products made by the group to be suspended on Friday.

The injection, based on a type of Siberian ginseng, is often used to treat thrombosis caused by a weak liver and kidneys, and is also believed to be helpful in treating coronary heart disease, according to Xinhua.

China has been hit by one product safety scandal after another in recent years, severely tarnishing the image of Chinese-made goods abroad and prompting a government campaign to tighten up safety inspections.


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