Taichung's Shengtang and Jiufu traditional Chinese medicine clinics have been searched following a series of lead poisoning cases among patients. Prosecutors suspect that a banned ingredient was added in the medication prescribed by them and therefore ask the local court to detain the heads of the two clinics.
Taichung prosecutors and health officials search two traditional Chinese medicine clinics and an upstream pharmaceutical company involved in the snowballing lead contamination scandal. The officials collected evidence and brought in the heads of the clinics and company for questioning. Prosecutors are seeking to detain all three.
(The three) are suspected of violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, falsifying documents, and doctoring records. There are of course also injury claims to be dealt with. We have applied to detain all three of them for the destruction of evidence and the likelihood of collusion.
The three are believed to have added cinnabar, a banned substance, into medicinal products. They later tried to recall the products and doctored records. The health bureau has tested 20 patients and 34 drug samples as of the 6th and says anyone with concerns should send samples to the food safety office for testing.
(Anyone with concerns) should bring samples and packaging along with their ID cards, chops and receipts to Taichung's food safety office for testing.
(Shengtang) said (it was purchasing cinnabar) for external use. I thought they were making fragrant sachets for people.
The owner of the pharmacy that Shengtang was purchasing cinnabar from says Shengtang has been buying cinnabar for two years, saying it was for fragrant sachets. The National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors' Association ROC, meanwhile, says it cannot accept the trio's actions.
They might have been trying to achieve some kind of breakthrough in treating difficult diseases, but what they did was illegal.
The union says Lu has been relieved of his union duties. The health bureau has fined Shengtang NT$500,000 and ordered the clinic to temporarily close for 60 days. Jiufu received a lesser penalty of NT$300,000 and order for closure of 30 days. The investigation is ongoing.