Chinese Police Request Arrests of 18 Changchun Changsheng Biotech Co. Employees

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered all departments to investigate the Changchun Changsheng vaccine scandal

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In a statement released on July 30, 2018, Changchun police said investigators had discovered violations of the law and asked prosecutors to approve the formal arrests of 18 people from the Changchun Changsheng Biotech Co.

These employees are accused of falsifying vaccine production and inspection records, according to Cui Jia with Chinadaily.com.cn.

Included in this police arrest request was Changchun Changsheng chairwoman Gao Junfang. Gao is ranked on Forbes’ List with $1 billion in wealth.

Calls to Changchun Changsheng by Reuters seeking comment went unanswered on July 30th. It is unclear if Chairman Gao has been allowed to retain legal representation.

Previously, on July 23rd, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered all relevant departments to investigate the scandal. President Xi said, “The vaccine company's actions were vile in nature and shocking."

The Chinese State Drug Administration said all of the company's rabies vaccines had been recalled, and no quality problems were found in vaccines that had already entered the market.

However, the incident aroused public outrage because of the virtual 100 percent mortality rate of rabies.

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Changsheng Changsheng is China’s second-largest rabies vaccine maker and is also the country’s second-largest chickenpox vaccine provider, according to its 2017 annual report. 

In November 2017, 252,600 doses of the company’s acellular diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DTaP) vaccines meant for children were also found to be ineffective, according to reporting by Angus Liu, an associate editor with FierceMarkets’ Life Sciences group. 

Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement they fully support China's National Drug Administration's actions to withhold the problematic batches of rabies vaccine and ensure they are not placed in the market.

"Regulatory oversight of vaccines is critically important. It is the government's primary method of ensuring that the vaccines produced and used in China are safe, of good quality and effective," said Gauden Galea, WHO Representative for China.

"This incident shows that when regulatory oversight works well, potential risks can be averted," said Galea.