BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have found more than 5,000 bottles of fake diabetes medication in two provinces that last month were blamed for the deaths of two patients, state media said on Thursday.
The patients died in China’s far western region of Xinjiang after taking the counterfeit medication.
Now the government has found the same fake drug in southwestern Sichuan province and the western province of Qinghai, state radio said in a report carried on the official website, www.china.com.cn.
However, nobody has yet been found to have fallen sick after taking the fake drug in either province, the report added.
Police have already detained four people in Xinjiang for selling the medication, the Xinhua news agency added.
“Authorities have said that their preliminary investigation showed that the counterfeit drug was not produced in Xinjiang, but they have so far failed to find its source,” Xinhua said.
China is battling a string of food and drug safety scandals.
A court last month sentenced two men to death for their role in making and selling milk tainted with melamine, an industrial compound. At least six children died and nearly 300,000 fell ill after drinking the toxic dairy products last year.
The government has warned that the economic slowdown could lead to more cases as struggling drug makers cut corners and violate standards.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ken Wills and Dean Yates