The alleged death toll of a hazardous antibiotic injection rose to six
yesterday, after two elderly people in Hunan and Sichuan provinces were
identified as victims of the drug.
A health worker seals bottles of potentially
hazardous clindamycin phosphate glucose in Loudi, Hunan Province. More
than 1,300 bottles were impounded by local health authorities yesterday.
Chen Dexiang, 74, a
teacher in Zhangjiajie, Hunan, went to hospital because of a cold on August 2,
reported local newspaper the Xiaoxiang Morning Post.
The hospital prescribed five drugs including an injection of clindamycin
phosphate glucose produced by the Anhui Huayuan Worldbest Biology Pharmacy Co,
which was the only treatment Chen received on the day.
Chen began to tremble and his temperature rose drastically as he received the
injection. He was rushed to the People's Hospital of Zhangjiajie where he died
three hours later.
Chen's relatives became convinced his death was caused by the injection after
they heard about its other possible victims through media reports.
Meanwhile, relatives of senior citizen Hu Qingxiu, of Anyue County in
Southwest China's Sichuan Province, said she died after being treated with two
bottles of the drug after breaking a bone.
The relatives said Hu suffered chest and abdominal pains after the injection
on July 20 and later died.
More deaths and cases of adverse reactions linked to the injection have
emerged as an investigation continues into the drug.
The injection was banned by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on
August 4 and a nationwide recall is in progress.
The previous four deaths were in Heilongjiang, Hebei, Hubei and Shaanxi
SFDA spokesman Zhang Jixiang yesterday refuted media reports about a possible
cover-up by the Anhui Provincial Food and Drug Administration.
Zhang said the Anhui authorities' announcement of the recall of the hazardous
drug was timely and there is a strict procedure to follow in dealing with
reports of adverse reactions.
The Anhui company has stopped production, though no direct charges have been
levelled at the firm for now. The company said it has sold 3.18 million units of
the injection to 26 provinces, autonomous region and municipalities, of which
only 1.4 million have been recalled so far.
On Monday the Ministry of Health released guidance notes which describe the
possible symptoms of an adverse reaction to the injection and how to cope with
(China Daily 08/09/2006 page1)