China has charged Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology RMB 9.1 billion ($1.3 billion) for the quality failings behind the recent vaccine scandal. The penalty is 16 times the net profit Changsheng made in 2017 and far larger than the punishments typically imposed on vaccine manufacturers.
Changsheng entered the crosshairs of Chinese regulators earlier this year when inspectors found it had produced rabies and DPT vaccines using out-of-date active pharmaceutical ingredients and failed to run tests at the appropriate point in the process. To compound matters, the inspectors accused the firm of forging production data and issuing false confirmations of tests. The findings, which follow on from earlier vaccine scandals, led to public protests.
Chinese authorities have spent the past few months trying to show the situation is under control and alleviate concerns about vaccine safety in general. Now, the government has sent a message to the industry by hitting Changsheng with a record fine.
The Food and Drug Administration in the Chinese province of Jilin confiscated RMB 1.89 billion from Changsheng to recoup money the company made from the sale of the substandard vaccines. With the government also imposing a fine of RMB 7.21 billion on Changsheng, the financial penalty comes in at RMB 9.1 billion. The Chinese securities regulator is fining Changsheng a further RMB 600,000…