Trial begins for 11 over fake eye medication in Shanghai

08:24, May 20, 2011      

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Eleven people went on trial Thursday accused of manufacturing and selling a fake eye medication that left 61 people suffering from adverse reactions in Shanghai.

Luwan District People's Court said the suspects concocted a counterfeit version of Avastin with regular saline and then used fake packaging to deceive buyers and gain illegal profits.

All 90 bottles of the fake drugs were later sold to the Shanghai Ruijin-AmMed Cancer Center, a joint venture between Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and AmMed Cancer Center of Hong Kong, according to the court.

The cancer center then sold five bottles to the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital.

A total of 116 patients were given the counterfeit medication on Sept. 6 and 8 last year at the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital, previous investigations showed.

Of them, 61 experienced negative reactions, including eye pain, redness in the eyes, and unclear vision. All were later discharged from hospital following treatment and none suffered damage to their vision.

The court will announce the verdict on a later date.

In January, the presidents of Shanghai No.1 People's Hospital and Ruijin Hospital received disciplinary punishment and two eye doctors at the No.1 People's Hospital were suspended for six months.

In addition, Ruijin-AmMed Cancer Center had the illegal revenue confiscated and its medical license revoked.

Avastin is produced by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Group and is designed to inhibit angiogenesis.

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