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October 23, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Officials to investigate fake drug production

THE State Food and Drug Administration and the Shanghai Public Security Bureau are investigating a Beijing pharmaceutical plant allegedly producing a counterfeit version of the drug Avastin.

Use of the drug caused eye infections in 61 patients at the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital last month, officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau said yesterday.

The hospital is also involved in a scandal about illegally using Avastin on people with eye complaints, though its key component is believed to have a positive effect on some eye conditions.

Avastin made its official launch on China's mainland for the treatment of colorectal cancer yesterday.

Roche, Avastin's producer, said the drug is only approved for colorectal cancer treatment in China. It is used in the treatment of five types of cancer in the United States, but is not permitted for use on eyes.

Local police will also investigate the Avastin case.

The Shanghai Ruijin-AmMed Cancer Center is under suspicion as it allegedly purchased the bogus Avastin and sold it on to hospitals.

Several employees at the cancer center, along with some pharmaceutical dealers, have been detained. The relevant head of Shanghai No.1 People's Hospital will be charged with poor management and negligence, said health bureau officials.

Only three patients from the case remain in the hospital. Many of those discharged have received compensation.


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