Chinese regulator faces bribery charge in vax scandal

Simcere Pharmaceutical subsidiary Jiangsu Ealong Biotech is accused by Chinese drug authorities of selling adulterated rabies vaccines. But it's an employee of the drug regulator who has been arrested and charged with accepting bribes.

Wei Liang, said to work for China's State Food and Drug Administration, is accused of taking $145,000 in bribes in a case involving the deliberate substitution of vaccine ingredients. The sub-par prophylactic is unlikely to cause adverse effects, according to the SFDA; nor will it provide the desired immunological protection, reports Securing Pharma.

The vaccine was sold in 2008, a year before Simcere took over the company. Production has ceased. Simcere is cooperating with regulators.

Jiangsu Ealong employees also are being investigated for deliberately using substandard materials and failing to follow legal manufacturing procedures.

With the bribery charge, Wei Liang faces severely strict officials intent on improving China's reputation in the worldwide drug industry. Six traders were sentenced to death in December for exporting fake anti-malarials, as we've reported. And in mid-2007, the country's chief drug regulator, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed for bribery.

- see the article
- here's a press report