Medical investigators have found batches of a fake blood-boosting drug in northeastern China in the latest scandal to taint its pharmaceutical industry, state press reported Sunday.
More than 2,000 bottles of fake human albumin were discovered in Jilin province at 18 hospitals and 39 retail and wholesale drug outlets, China Central Television reported.
Human serum albumin, or albumin made from human plasma, is used to treat shock due to blood loss, burns and low protein levels due to surgery or liver failure.
It is also used as an additional medicine in bypass surgery.
High demand for the drug is believed to have led to the production of the fakes, which were packaged in the boxes and bottles of legitimate pharmaceutical companies, the report said.
Medical and police authorities are stepping up an investigation into the fake drug and have so far turned up a series of bogus sale receipts to the hospitals and drug sellers where it has turned up, the report said.
The scandal comes after China's former top drug administrator Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced to death last month for accepting bribes in return for granting approvals for hundreds of medicines.
His arrest and trial has prompted a nationwide crackdown on China's chaotic food and pharmaceutical industries, where a series of public health scares have surfaced due to poorly made or fake products.