Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A Chinese pharmaceuticals company was fined a record $1.3 billion for illegal production of a human rabies vaccine, a Chinese government agency reported Wednesday.
The company, Changchun-based Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences, violated drug management and manufacturing by blending different batches of vaccine fluid, falsifying dates of production and using expired fluid to produce vaccines, authorities said.
The National Medical Products Administration annulled the company's production approval certifications. The Jilin Food and Drug Administration revoked the company's pharmaceutical production license, confiscated illegally-produced vaccines and imposed the fine, which is three times the value of the defective vaccines made and sold.
Another fine of $87,000 will be imposed on the manufacturer's parent company, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced. Individuals responsible for the violations will be banned from the industry, and criminal charges could be filed.
"Serious punishment for the case will serve as a warning for drug safety and shows the authorities' resolution to crack down on drug violations and protect people's health," NMPA legal adviser Li Jiang said.
The company largely serves Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe with rabies, influenza, Hepatitis-A and diphtheria drugs.
It was revealed in July that Changchun Changsheng falsified rabies vaccine production data, leading to a recall of the product and increased government scrutiny.