BEIJING-Police in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun said on Sunday they had asked prosecutors to approve the arrest of 18 people at Changsheng Bio-technology Co Ltd, a vaccine maker at the centre of a safety scandal.
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An investigation of Chinese vaccine maker Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Limited found evidence that the company had illegally produced rabies vaccines for human use.
Changsheng mixed different batches of raw active antigenic substances in their final products, the team reported.
According to the preliminary report, the company "systematically" fabricated production and inspection records and issued invoices with false dates to meet inspection requirements.
The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) also said last week that it would begin unscheduled inspections at all vaccine manufacturers in China, as it looks into violations at the vaccine company.
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The investigators said that the company's management meant to destroy 60 hard drives containing data to eliminate evidence, but police had managed to recover them.
Authorities had ordered the company to halt manufacture as an initial inspection between July 6-8 had found irregularities, after an anonymous employee had revealed the malpractices in an article, which was later censored, on social media networks.
Public confidence in domestic-made drugs and medical products has been shaken by such scandals in recent weeks and the prices of healthcare shares in China have dropped.
The firm was found to have falsified data and sold ineffective vaccines.
The firm also sold 252,600 doses of ineffective DPT vaccines to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. Gao's family ranked 371st on Forbes' 2016 China Rich List, with $1 billion in wealth. The drug regulator has started a sweeping campaign to inspect all vaccine makers for misconduct. China Securities Regulatory Commission on Friday revised its delisting rule, adding actions that threaten public health as a new condition for enforced delisting.