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China Cracks the Whip Against Drug Manufacturers Who Fail Quality Norms

nts in hospitals of Guangxi autonomous region in southern China and the eastern financial center of Shanghai.

"Some of the children have felt pain in their legs and some have experienced difficulty in walking after being injected with the methotrexate drug numbered 070403A and 070403B," the statement said.

"Local drug regulators have been ordered to re-evaluate the drug," it said.

On Friday, a Beijing court sentenced Cao Wenzhuang, a department director at the State Food and Drug Administration, to death with a two-year reprieve on charges of accepting bribes and neglecting official duties, according to his lawyer, Gao Zicheng.

Such suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life in prison if the convict is deemed to have reformed.

Cao, who oversaw the pharmaceutical registration department, was secretary to Zheng Xiaoyu, the head of the agency, in the 1980s. Zheng was sentenced to death in May for taking bribes to approve substandard medicines, including an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths.

In the pharmaceuticals department, Cao, 45, had the power to approve pharmaceutical production in China from 2002 to 2006.

The sentencing was followed a day later by a report in the official China Daily that the food and drug watchdog had pulled the production licenses of five drug makers over the last year, and penalized 128 other companies.


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