The counterfeit diabetes drugs. [File photo]
Nine people were hospitalized after taking a counterfeit diabetes drug in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region that last month caused the death of two others, said the local government Tuesday.
Four of the nine people were being treated in Kashi People's Hospital and are in stable condition. Five others had been released from hospital, said a spokesman of the Kashi government.
The food and drug bureau in Shache County of Kashi reported a man, named Ye Danjun, sold a diabetes drug branded "Tang Zhi Ning Jiao Nang" from a rented house. He sold the drug on the pretense of giving free lectures and blood sugar tests.
Two people died on Jan. 17 and 19 after taking the drugs. The county government has paid the families of each victim 5,000 yuan (US$731) for burial services.
According to the investigation of by the region food and drug safety watchdog, the drug contained an illegal chemical ingredient "glibenclamide," which is used to help lower blood sugar. But the counterfeit drugs contained six times the normal dose of the chemical.
A total of 9,600 bottles of the counterfeit drug entered Kashi and 8,536 bottles have been recovered.
Police in Kashi have seized the registered capital of Ye's company and have frozen his bank account.
The local public security bureau, drug watchdog and industrial and commercial bureau have launched a joint investigation into the case.
According to the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), most of the drugs were found in Kashi and Aksu in the western part of the region.Police had seized 9,391 bottles in Xinjiang as of Sunday, 2,663 of which were confiscated from customers.
The SFDA said on Monday that four suspects had been detained in Xinjiang for selling the deadly drug but gave no details about the suspects.
Authorities have said that their preliminary investigation showed that the fake drug was not produced in Xinjiang, but they have so far failed to find its source.
No such fake drug has been found outside Xinjiang.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2009)