China has announced that it has sacked six senior officials at its food and drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd revealed failings at the government body including inadequate supervision.
Reuters Health reports that the State Administration for Market Regulation said that among officials dismissed were Ding Jianhua, who headed two departments at the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).
Changsheng was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread public anger and multiple probes including police investigations.
The report says the Changsheng case exposed that the CFDA officials “did not provide sufficient supervision, strong enough oversight, nor were they strict enough in their inspections”.
While there were no known reports of people being harmed by the vaccines, regulators ordered Changsheng to halt their production and recall the rabies vaccine. Changsheng has apologized and said it is cooperating with investigations.
Beijing said it had sacked a senior provincial official and was probing a former top drug regulator. And it was also reported that more than 40 government officials, including seven at the provincial level, have been held accountable for the scandal and some have been sacked. The central province of Hubei has removed six government officials from their posts in relation to another inferior vaccines case involving Chinese company Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.
According to the report, the company said on its website that it has dismissed its deputy general manager in charge of production and warned or fined eight other employees.
[link url="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-vaccines/china-sacks-six-senior-officials-at-food-and-drug-regulator-over-vaccine-scandal-idUSKBN1L302R"]Reuters Health report[/link]