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Fake drug scandal victims win payout
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Victims of a fake drug scandal linked to 14 deaths were yesterday awarded 3.51 million yuan (US dollars 510,000) in compensation.

The Tianhe District People's Court in Guangzhou, capital of southern China's Guangdong Province, found a hospital, a pharmaceutical plant and a drug distributor were all responsible for the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

The court ordered them to pay 11 plaintiffs the 3.51 million yuan.

Nine of the 11 patients died after taking a fake drug in the No. 3 Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou from April 2006.

The story made headlines nationwide and led to an investigation of the senior level of the country's drug regulator.

The contaminated drug, made by Qiqihar No. 2 Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, was discovered in April 2005 when patients at the hospital developed kidney failure. Sixty-four patients had received injections of an antibiotic and 14 had died.

A later investigation showed that the drug Armillarisni A contained diglycol that could cause kidney failure.

Drug vendor Wang Guiping had passed the poisonous chemical off as a normal ingredient to the pharmaceutical company, according to a court in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, which sentenced Wang to life imprisonment on May 23.

(Shanghai Daily June 27, 2008)

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