January 24, 2008 / 1:35 AM / in 11 years

China fake drug scandal claims 14th victim: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - A batch of fake Chinese medicine claimed its 14th victim when a man died of kidney failure nearly two years after receiving a tainted injection, state media said.

The 37-year-old, surnamed Ren, was among dozens of patients at the Zhongshan University Number Three Hospital in Guangzhou, southern China, who were treated in April 2006 with a drug containing fake ingredients, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Armillarisni A, made by the Qiqihar No. 2 Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., based in the country’s northeast, contained a cheap industrial syrup, diglycol, that attacked patients’ kidneys, livers and nervous systems.

Ren died on Wednesday despite an earlier kidney and liver transplant, the report said.

The death came as a reminder of China’s problems with fake medicines and other products that have alarmed citizens and shaken global consumer confidence in “made in China” products.

The government has been striving to restore confidence in the country’s goods through a nationwide crackdown and by stressing that the vast majority of its exports are safe.

Ren was among 11 patients affected by the fake drug who had sued the hospital for 20 million yuan ($2.74 million), Xinhua said.

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ken Wills and Alex Richardson

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