China detains over 130 for vaccine black marketing

Beijing, March 25 (IANS) Chinese authorities have detained over 130 people linked to vaccine black marketing scandal, and found most of the vaccines concerned were transported and stored under inadequate conditions.

Police have confirmed that 30 drug distribution companies were found to be illegally trading the vaccines and selling them to 16 vaccination outlets, the China Daily reported on Friday.

The black market operations were headed by a mother-daughter duo from the eastern province of Shandong since 2011. They acquired vaccines legally or illegally and sold these to traffickers as well as health centres at higher prices.

The vaccines, worth $88 million, were not transported in the required conditions nor refrigerated adequately, and could cause disabilities and even deaths.

Li Guoqing, a division director of the China Food and Drug Administration, however, said that while the case has exposed lax supervision, there is no cause for panic.

This is the largest public health scandal to rock the world’s second largest economy since 2008, when six babies died and 300,000 were affected by adulterated baby milk.

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