China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative

  • China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative

China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative

Yesterday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said it has instructed medical institutions to cease use of the batch of intravenous immunoglobulin produced by Shanghai Xinxing Pharmaceutical.

The Shanghai Xinxing Pharmaceutical Company specializes in the sale and the production of blood-based medical products. In the mid-2000s, Shanghai Xinxing spent 50 million yuan on the acquisition of two apheresis centers - where patients have plasma separated from the rest of their blood - in Jiangxi and central Hunan province, respectively. So far there have been no reported cases of any patients having become infected from the IVIg. The batches of the product expire in June 2021. Preliminary testing showed that no patients in Jiangxi who had used the affected products had contracted HIV and no initial signs that the virus was present in the serums, according to the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).

Public faith in China's health regulators has been shaken by previous scandals. As part of the fallout, four former officials with the China Food and Drug Administration - the body above the NMPA - are being investigated for corruption. Months earlier, faulty diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccines resulted in the government slapping a record penalty of an equivalent of 1.3 billion US dollars on the vaccine manufacturer, Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology Company.

Public outrage over medical scandals has alarmed the leadership of the ruling Communist Party, moving it to respond more quickly and firmly than in the past, including bringing criminal charges and billion dollar fines. Ltd., the country's second-largest blood product manufacturer.

Also see in the New York Times an op-ed by global health expert Huáng Yánzhōng 黄延中: If a government can't deliver safe vaccines for children, is it fit to rule? Chinese offices are largely shut for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The NHC, citing worldwide medical literature and findings, maintained chances of contracting HIV infection are extremely low for patients that have been administered the contaminated blood plasma.

Health officials have been directed to closely monitor the patients that were administered the infected blood plasma, a statement released by the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

A study of 280,000 villagers in Henan who had sold their blood found that more than 36,000, about one in eight, had HIV or Aids. "Yet the people responsible for it have never been brought to account, nor have they uttered a single word of apology".