China to prosecute suspects, confiscate illegal income of scandal-hit vaccine maker Changsheng

The building of vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology, which will have its illegal earnings confiscated by Chinese authorities.
The building of vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology, which will have its illegal earnings confiscated by Chinese authorities.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese authorities will prosecute all suspects in a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology and confiscate its illegal earnings, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday (Aug 16).

The company was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking a safety scandal that has stoked widespread public anger.

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 apologised in a regulatory filing.

CCTV reported on Thursday that the cabinet said police had concluded an investigation into Changsheng. It did not give more details on the company officials to be prosecuted.

Changsheng did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

CCTV said a separate meeting of the elite seven-man Politburo Standing Committee chaired by President Xi Jinping on Thursday had found the scandal revealed serious "dereliction of duties" and exposed loopholes in the regulatory system.

The broadcaster said several government officials had been punished over the scandal.

 

Changsheng is based in Changchun city in the northeastern province of Jilin. It is China's second largest producer of rabies and chickenpox vaccines, the company said in its 2017 annual report.

State news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday the company had made nearly 500,000 substandard vaccines for children, roughly double an earlier estimate by authorities.