Bail granted in feud with drug­maker

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties told to re­visit case, as ev­i­dence was ‘not strong enough’

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A doc­tor ac­cused of dam­ag­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany through false in­for­ma­tion was re­leased on bail on Tues­day, and the case was sent back to pub­lic se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­tonomous re­gion or­dered pros­e­cu­tors in Liangcheng county to re­turn the case to the pub­lic se­cu­rity depart­ment “be­cause the facts and ev­i­dence were un­clear and not strong enough”.

The higher prose­cut­ing au­thor­ity also said the co­er­cive mea­sure im­posed on the doc­tor, Tan Qin­dong, should be changed.

Tan, 39, was de­tained on Jan 10 on charges of harm­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal liquor made by Hong­mao Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties claimed he posted false in­for­ma­tion on­line, and the county’s pros­e­cu­tors is­sued an ar­rest war­rant on Jan 25.

Un­der reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing pros­e­cu­tors, as well as a guide­line on how they han­dle crim­i­nal cases, prose­cut­ing au­thor­i­ties at higher lev­els are given the right to change, can­cel or cor­rect a de­ci­sion made by lower au­thor­i­ties if an ac­tion is found to be flawed.

The Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity also or­dered the re­gional po­lice to un­der­take a re­view of the case and strengthen their su­per­vi­sion of law en­force­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Shang­haibased on­line news out­let thep­a­per.cn, Tan said af­ter walk­ing out of the de­ten­tion house that he had no re­grets over what he said about the liquor.

The county po­lice said on Sun­day that Hong­mao Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal had suf­fered eco­nomic losses as a re­sult of Tan’s com­ments. The com­pany claims the liquor is good for health. But Tan, an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist from Guang­dong prov­ince, wrote on­line that the liquor was “a toxic sub­stance from heaven”. His ar­ti­cle spread on­line.

The com­pany com­plained to au­thor­i­ties in De­cem­ber that the claim of tox­i­c­ity was un­true.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous in­for­ma­tion from the na­tional food and drug au­thor­i­ties and re­ports in Peo­ple’s Daily, the com­pany has been pun­ished mul­ti­ple times for vi­o­lat­ing the Ad­ver­tise­ment Law in dif­fer­ent prov­inces.

Hong­mao Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal’s ad­ver­tise­ments state that the liquor is made from dozens of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicines and can re­lieve pain, cure colds and in­crease vigor. It is a tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine prod­uct ap­proved by China’s for­mer Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2015.

The Chi­nese Med­i­cal Doc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion urged phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies on Mon­day to strictly fol­low laws and reg­u­la­tions in ad­ver­tis­ing and called on the Liangcheng county po­lice to han­dle aca­demic opin­ions and speeches with pru­dence and to avoid treat­ing civil dis­putes as crimes.

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