Taiwan reveals second wave of tainted drugs

Taiwan reveals second wave of tainted drugs

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a second wave of product warnings and recalls yesterday, as the recent spate of tainted drugs continues to rock the island. The FDA's list of drugs containing industrial-grade magnesium carbonate now includes a total of 19 manufacturers and 23 over-the-counter products. (A link to the FDA's list can be found at the end of this article.)

The list of tainted products includes well-known brands in the area of stomach and intestinal medicine, such as Hsin Wan Jen's Jin Shi Jia brand, U.C. Pharma's Teh Wei brand and Taiwan Tanabe Pharma's Wei Bao Ding brand.

According to the FDA, the listed drugs must be removed from store shelves by April 22. Furthermore, violating drug manufacturers' must complete a total product recall within 30 days, with the FDA issuing an order to seal the companies' inventories and suspend their shipments. Under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, the companies face fines of between NT$60,000 (S$2,600) and NT$300,000, the FDA said.

The FDA conducted further investigations from April 13 to April 17, targeting a total of 48 different companies, of which 19 were found to include magnesium carbonate that had not been pre-approved.

Yungshin Pharm, Ming Ta Chemistry Pharma and Hsin Lin Hsin Sheng have proactively removed their products from stores.

In a statement posted on its official website Hsin Wan Jen Chemical and Pharmaceutical claimed that its product contained Japan-sourced "Shiraishi Calcium" which is consumer-grade magnesium carbonate. The company defended its product as adhering to Japanese pharmaceutical standards and safe for consumption.

Last week a similar inspection of 27 firms found that 13 could not prove the certified usage of their magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate that were used in a total of 23 products.

The full list of stomach and intestinal drugs tested to contain industrial-grade magnesium carbonate can be obtained here: http://bit.ly/1CXKjKN (hyperlink abbreviated from FDA's official portal).

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