The death toll in the fake drug case in China has shot up to nine, triggering a nation-wide alert and check on pharmaceutical companies, the state media reported today.
The nine people were confirmed dead from using the fake Armillarisni A injection made by the Qiqihar No 2 Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, said officials with the Third Hospital affiliated to Sun Yat-sen University in South China's Guangdong Province.
The fake drug causes pain at alimentary canal and stomach and brings damage to kidney, nervous system and liver.
Among the victims, five had been confirmed dead from using the fake drug by May 16.
The hospital is the only one in Guangdong Province that purchased the drug. It has identified 64 people who used the fake drug.
Liao Xinbo, vice-director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Health, said nine out of 18 people who used the fake drug were believed to be killed by the drug.
The other nine may have died from diseases and other reasons, Liao was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Five patients who fell ill after consuming the fake drug are recovering in the hospital.
According to a briefing by the State Food and Drug Administration last week, the pharmaceutical company purchased one tonne of 'propylene glycol' from a drug dealer named Wang Guiping in September 2005 as auxiliary material for producing Armillarisni A injection.
The 'propylene glycol' delivered by Wang is actually diglycol, an industrial material which causes acute kidney failure if taken by humans.
Source: PTI News