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Most Problematic Leukemia Drugs Recalled
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"Most" of the iffy leukemia drugs, methotrexate and cytarabin hydrochloride, produced by Shanghai Hualian Pharmaceutical Co. have been recalled, according to the press office of the Shanghai municipal government.

And relevant agencies have traced the whereabouts of the rest of the drugs, said the press office on Saturday, adding that local government has ordered the producer to keep recalling.

China's drug watchdog and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have suspended the production, sale and usage of the two drugs made by the Shanghai company on Sept. 5.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and the MOH took the decision after the National Center for Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring reported that the drugs had caused adverse reactions including difficulty in walking and retention of urine in some leukemia patients.

Several children suffering from leukemia in three hospitals of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Shanghai City felt pain in their legs and some had difficulty in walking after being injected with the methotrexate drug made by the Shanghai company in early July.

On Sept. 14, the MOH and the SFDA said in a joint notice that investigations showed that the incidents happened because vincristine sulfate, an anti-cancer medicine, has been mistakenly blended into several batches of the two drugs during production.

At present, local food and drug bureau has closed down the factories involved to find out how the mistake was made.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2007)

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