Weidalon found to be tainted: gov’t

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By Stephanie Chao ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Jen Sheng (�H�ͻs��) has become the latest firm to be added to the tainted-medicine scandal after it was allegedly found to be illegally adding industrial calcium carbonate (�һĶt) to a well-known stomach powder, Cheng Shing Tai’s (�G����) Weidalon (�G�F�ִ�), said Changhua officials last night.

During investigations into industrial magnesium carbonate-tainted products, authorities inadvertently uncovered that I Hsing Trade Company (�˿��T��) had been illegally supplying Jen Sheng with calcium carbonate, and produced Weidalon with the chemical as a commission for Cheng Shing Tai from 2008 to 2011. More than 2,000 bottles of the possibly tainted stomach powder have been seized as a precaution.

It is certain that I Hsing had been distributing medicinal ingredients without a license; officials will continue to investigate whether the products were made with industrial-grade substances. Other pharmaceutical companies allegedly involved in the scandal are Jen Chang Sheng (������) and Mu Tsu (����), both of which were raided yesterday and found to be using industrial magnesium carbonate (�u�~�һ���) in their stomach powders.

Problematic medicine includes Jen Chang Sheng’s Jian Stomach Powder (�����Ͱ��G��) and Mu Tsu’s Stomach Powder (�G��). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, ���ĸp) blacklisted the two companies for not abiding by PIC/S standards and failing to pass recent factory inspections.

Jen Chang Shen was shut down earlier this year for not abiding by PIC/S GMP medicine manufacturing standards, said Chairman Ko Jian-an (�_�ئw).

Ko explained that since the Pharmaceuticals Affairs Act (�Ĩƪk) does not regulate the type of magnesium carbonate used in medicine, they had not paid attention to the ingredients used. The company claims to have only discovered they were using industrial magnesium carbonate during yesterday’s investigation. Supposedly GMP-compliant pharmaceutical company Mu Tsu was shut down last year on Dec. 9. Mu Tsu originally registered as a medicine wholesaler, and recently acquired an FDA manufacturing certificate. Both companies have ceased manufacturing the products in question. Officials said Mu Tsu’s products should not be found on shelves at all, while the last batch of Jen Chang Sheng’s over-the-counter Jian Stomach Powder was manufactured in August 2013.

Officials estimate at least 900 kilograms of Jen Chang Sheng’s problematic stomach powder are still on shelves nationwide.

The Changhua Health Bureau has notified hospitals and clinics to cease the distribution of tainted products within the month.

The pharmaceutical factories are victims as well, factory workers said, as I Hsing Trade Company (�˿��T��), the main firm found distributing industrial magnesium carbonate-made products, had claimed that their products were certified, yet did not mention their status as industrial-grade and not for human consumption. Vice Health Minister Shiu Ming-neng (�\�ʯ�) said that local authorities are still investigating downstream vendors affected by Jen Chang Sheng’s Jian Stomach Powder.