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June 23, 2011

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11 jailed after fake eye drug caused infections

ELEVEN people who produced or sold a fake drug that caused eye infections in 61 patients in Shanghai were sentenced to periods of between 10 months and two years and 10 months in jail yesterday.

The 280,000 yuan (US$43,277) illegal income involved in the case was ordered to be confiscated by the Luwan District People's Court.

The court decided Wu Guosong, a fake drug producer from Heilongjiang Province, was the major criminal.

Wu was jailed two years and 10 months and fined 220,000 yuan.

The court heard in a hearing a month ago that the so-called Avastin - an imported cancer drug believed to have a beneficial effect on macular degeneration, an eye condition that can lead to loss of sight - was actually just saline.

Ninety bottles of fake Avastin were produced and eventually sold to the Shanghai Ruijin-AmMed Cancer Center, a joint venture between Ruijin Hospital and Hong Kong AmMed International Co, prosecutors said.

Five of the 90 bottles were sold to patients with eye problems for injections at the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital.

A drug test report by the Shanghai Institute for Food and Drug Control found that the fake Avastin contained bacteria endotoxin.

The 61 affected patients were among 116 people who received the fake medicine on September 6 and 8 last year. After the injections, they reported eye inflammation.

Li Xiaoqin, an unlicensed Shanghai drug seller, asked to buy Avastin from Wu.


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