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HIV in blood product suspected

China | Feb 8, 2019
China is investigating a manufacturer of medical products following reports it sold human immunoglobulin for intravenous injection that had possibly been contaminated with HIV, though authorities said tests found no sign of the virus.

China has repeatedly vowed tighter oversight and crackdowns on companies and officials after food and drug safety scandals sparked public outrage, such as one last month over expired polio vaccines, and another last year over a rabies vaccine.

Human immunoglobulin, made with human blood plasma, is used to treat a variety of conditions, but it was not clear how many people might have been injected from the suspect batch, which media said consisted of 12,226 units, due to expire in 2021.

Tests on the suspect batch proved negative for HIV, officials said, following a comment by China's National Health Commission that there was a "very low" risk of HIV infection from it.

The Shanghai Medical Products Administration said the batch, which authorities identified as number 20180610Z, was made by China Meheco Xinxing Pharma, a unit of state-controlled China Meheco Group.

China Economic Observer, said the probe began after an HIV test on a baby in southeastern Jiangxi province initially yielded a "weak" positive result that was traced to the batch under investigation.

Subsequently, the baby tested negative for HIV, it added.

REUTERS



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