Oct. 9, 2008
by Emma Graham-Harrison
Reuters: China has recalled two batches of herbal injections after three people who used them died, the official Xinhua agency said on Thursday, as the country still struggles to clean up a tainted milk scandal.
The drugs, made from Siberian ginseng, caused strong adverse reactions in six people from southwestern Yunnan province, Xinhua said. Three of them died in hospital on Monday.
The recall started the next day and an official from Heilongjiang province, where the faulty drug was made, said all the problematic batches had been located.
"We started on Tuesday morning to recall the products that had been sold by the company but not used by hospitals. All the medicine is on the way back," Guo Laibin, an official in charge of economic development, was quoted saying.
The herbal medicine is used to treat conditions caused by a weak liver and kidneys, and is also thought to be helpful for people suffering from heart disease, nervous exhaustion and menopause-related problems, Xinhua said.
All sales and use of the drug are suspended in Heilongjiang and Yunnan, the only place that has reported problems.
National and local food and drug officials are investigating Wandashan Pharmaceutical, which has been making the drug for more than 30 years, the Xinhua report added.
Nearly 10,700 Chinese infants and children were still in hospital on Wednesday after drinking toxic milk and milk formula that has killed four, the Health Ministry said.
The scandal has dented the "made in China" brand, and led to recalls around the world of goods feared tainted by Chinese dairy products, ranging from candies to biscuits and milk tea.