Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Medical | By

More than 12,000 Chinese blood plasma products recalled in HIV scare

More than 12,000 Chinese blood plasma products recalled in HIV scare

China's health authorities Wednesday launched an investigation into a batch of human immunoglobulin for intravenous injection, which were reported to be HIV antibody positive.

A staff member of the health commission in north-west China's Shaanxi province said 10 hospitals had reported back saying they had yet to find any patients who had contracted HIV.

According to Shanghai Xinxing's website, the company was established in August 2000 by its parent company, the state-run Xinxing Group, which is directly under the supervision of China's State Council, a cabinet-like authority.

The National Health Commission reassured the public (in Chinese) that "experts believe that the risk of HIV infection in patients using the drug is very low".

According to the statement of The National Health Commission (NHC) released on Tuesday, the provincial health commission and disease control center of eastern China's Jiangxi found traces of HIV in the batch.

A large number of batch consists of 12,229 50ml bottles of plasma with an expiry date of June 2021, the South China Morning Post reported.

The IVIg in question was produced by Shanghai Xinxing, which is owned by China's pharmaceutical giant Meheco Group.

Due to these vaccine scandals, the government consulted the first draft of a vaccine management law in November - allowing people to sue drug makers for punitive damages in cases of serious illness or death or serious illness caused by faulty vaccines.

Intravenous immunoglobulin, a blood product, prepared from the serum of between 1,000 and 15,000 donors per batch is used for the treatment of low immunity that is triggered by conditions like blood cancer and hepatitis.

So, some mixed messages there, . but another definite blow to public faith in China's health services.

The NMPA's apparent clearance of the blood plasma treatments on Wednesday came four days after Wu Zhen, the former deputy head of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) - which oversees the NMPA - was handed over to the judiciary system for investigation by the Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog in relation to the rabies vaccine scandal. That news sparked outrage and fear among China's parents, many of them in the country's growing middle class.

He told the paper that patients treated with faulty blood plasma may not necessarily be infected with HIV, because there was an anti-virus treatment in the preparation process. The country is known for the spread HIV through blood transfusions, reports NPR.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

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