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China fines vaccine maker $1.3bn after scandal

Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Ltd is stripped of its licences for falsifying records.

Chinese authorities have ordered a fine and asset seizure totalling $1.3bn against a pharmaceutical company for falsifying production records in a faulty rabies vaccine scandal.

Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Ltd, which was ordered in July to suspend production, was also stripped of its licences to make vaccines and drugs, the China National Drug Administration (CNDA) announced on Tuesday.

The company based in China's northeast Jilin province used expired materials, mixed different batches of products and failed to test them properly, according to Tuesday's announcement.

It also said the company destroyed records to conceal its misconduct.

Public outrage

Authorities have said the suspect rabies vaccines did not enter the market. But the case provoked outrage last year from consumers fed up with recurring product-safety scandals, particularly in the drug sector.

The firm's chairwoman and 14 other people were arrested in connection with the misconduct in July after a surprise inspection found falsified production and inspection records starting as early as 2014.

A slew of national, provincial and local officials have been sacked over the incident.

No injuries were reported from use of Changsheng Life Science's vaccines, but authorities ordered a recall of its products from Chinese and foreign markets.

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