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Patients improving after dodgy herbal injections

TWO people who were injected with a herbal drug that is suspected of causing the death of a woman in northwest China's Qinghai Province were improving, doctors said yesterday.

Tian Zengcheng, 48, and Wang Farong, 51, developed life-threatening symptoms last week after being injected with Shuanghuanglian, a herbal drug made by the Jiamusi factory of the Wusuli River Pharmacy in Heilongjiang Province.

They had improved after emergency treatment from doctors summoned from Beijing and Shanghai by the Ministry of Health, said Qinghai People's Hospital.

"Tian was diagnosed with acute renal failure," said Dr An Ling. "He is sleeping and eating well now. We cannot say he is totally out of danger. He needs further dialysis."

Wang Farong, who had liver failure, has stabilized and is improving. "He can walk now," said his wife Li Dejie.

A 62-year-old woman in Qinghai died last Tuesday after receiving the injection.

After the death, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration urged all hospitals and drug stores to suspend the use and sale of the product.

Shuanghuanglian injections are used to treat fevers and coughs caused by colds.

An initial investigation showed that the batch numbers of the problematic drugs were 0809028 and 0809030. More than 400,000 injections of the two batches were sold in Qinghai, Hebei, Heilong°?jiang and Shandong provinces, according to the SFDA.

Shandong Province has reported 54 cases of adverse reaction to the injection, local food and drug administration said.

More than 8,000 bottles of the injections have been recalled in Qinghai. More than 40,000 bottles remain in circulation in the province.


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