Wei­dalon found to be tainted: gov’t

Industrial-use cal­cium car­bon­ate al­legedly put in stom­ach pow­der

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Jen Sheng ( ) has be­come the lat­est firm to be added to the tainted-medicine scan­dal af­ter it was al­legedly found to be il­le­gally adding industrial cal­cium car­bon­ate ( ) to a well-known stom­ach pow­der, Cheng Shing Tai’s ( ) Wei­dalon ( ), said Changhua of­fi­cials last night.

Dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate-tainted prod­ucts, au­thor­i­ties in­ad­ver­tently un­cov­ered that I Hs­ing Trade Com­pany ( ) had been il­le­gally sup­ply­ing Jen Sheng with cal­cium car­bon­ate, and pro­duced Wei­dalon with the chem­i­cal as a com­mis­sion for Cheng Shing Tai from 2008 to 2011. More than 2,000 bot­tles of the pos­si­bly tainted stom­ach pow­der have been seized as a pre­cau­tion.

It is cer­tain that I Hs­ing had been dis­tribut­ing medic­i­nal in­gre­di­ents with­out a li­cense; of­fi­cials will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate whether the prod­ucts were made with industrial-grade sub­stances.

Other phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies al­legedly in­volved in the scan­dal are Jen Chang Sheng ( ) and Mu Tsu ( ), both of which were raided yes­ter­day and found to be us­ing industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate ( ) in their stom­ach pow­ders.

Prob­lem­atic medicine in­cludes Jen Chang Sheng’s Jian Stom­ach Pow­der ( ) and Mu Tsu’s Stom­ach Pow­der ( ).

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA, ) black­listed the two com­pa­nies for not abid­ing by PIC/S stan­dards and fail­ing to pass re­cent fac­tory in­spec­tions.

Jen Chang Shen was shut down ear­lier this year for not abid­ing by PIC/S GMP medicine man­u­fac­tur­ing stan­dards, said Chair­man Ko Jian-an ( ).

Ko ex­plained

that

since

the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Af­fairs Act (

) does not reg­u­late the type of mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate used in medicine, they had not paid at­ten­tion to the in­gre­di­ents used. The com­pany claims to have only dis­cov­ered they were us­ing industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate dur­ing yes­ter­day’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sup­pos­edly GMP- com­pli­ant phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Mu Tsu was shut down last year on Dec. 9. Mu Tsu orig­i­nally reg­is­tered as a medicine whole­saler, and re­cently ac­quired an FDA man­u­fac­tur­ing cer­tifi­cate.

Both com­pa­nies have ceased man­u­fac­tur­ing the prod­ucts in ques­tion. Of­fi­cials said Mu Tsu’s prod­ucts should not be found on shelves at all, while the last batch of Jen Chang Sheng’s over-the­counter Jian Stom­ach Pow­der was man­u­fac­tured in Au­gust 2013.

Of­fi­cials es­ti­mate at least 900 kilo­grams of Jen Chang Sheng’s prob­lem­atic stom­ach pow­der are still on shelves na­tion­wide.

The Changhua Health Bureau has no­ti­fied hos­pi­tals and clin­ics to cease the dis­tri­bu­tion of tainted prod­ucts within the month.

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­to­ries are vic­tims as well, fac­tory work­ers said, as I Hs­ing Trade Com­pany ( ), the main firm found dis­tribut­ing industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate-made prod­ucts, had claimed that their prod­ucts were cer­ti­fied, yet did not men­tion their sta­tus as industrial-grade and not for hu­man con­sump­tion.

Vice Health Min­is­ter Shiu Ming­neng ( ) said that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing down­stream ven­dors af­fected by Jen Chang Sheng’s Jian Stom­ach Pow­der.

Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies should use medicine-grade rather than industrial-grade in­gre­di­ents in ex­cip­i­ents, ac­cord­ing to the state­ments from the FDA yes­ter­day.

Fail­ure to abide by the reg­u­la­tions will re­sult in the forcible ces­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion, and in more se­ri­ous cases, the com­pany’s PIC/S GMP cer­tifi­cate would be made in­valid, Shiu said.

Tainted Food Prod­ucts Still on

Shelves

Spices made with industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate are still on shelves, ac­cord­ing to the FDA. Twenty-five prod­ucts, such as fla­vored rice pow­der, cochineal red A ( ), ery­thro­sine (

) and ground pep­per should be taken off shelves by mid­night to­day.

Au­thor­i­ties said the in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­cov­ered a to­tal of 39 prob­lem­atic prod­ucts, 16 af­fected cities and coun­ties and 171 down­stream ven­dors.

Dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion yes­ter­day, of­fi­cials found 25 of the prod­ucts were still in use.

CNA

This photo shows con­fis­cated cans of medic­i­nal prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured us­ing industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate. Changhua County Health Bureau of­fi­cials re­ported that Jen Chang Sheng Jian Stom­ach Pow­der ( ) was found to have been made by us­ing industrial mag­ne­sium car­bon­ate as ex­cip­i­ents, which serve as ve­hi­cles for ac­tive in­gre­di­ents. The tainted prod­ucts were seized by in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

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