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News Link • Vaccines and Vaccinations

Bitter pill: China vaccine scandal sparks fury, roils markets

• by Reuters

* China Premier calls for swift investigation

* Shares drop 10 percent after trading resumes

* China has been making big push to raise drug safety (Adds parent comments, social media reaction)

By Adam Jourdan and John Ruwitch

SHANGHAI, July 23 (Reuters) - A vaccine scandal in China, which has prompted angry reactions from citizens fed up with safety scares, is sending ripples across the local drug market and threatening Chinese ambitions to play a larger role in the global pharmaceutical space.

Shares in Chinese vaccine makers and biotech firms fell across the board on Monday after Premier Li Keqiang slammed Changsheng Biotechnology Co for having crossed a moral red line and called for swift action.

Changsheng has been found to have faked production documents related to a rabies vaccine that is given to babies as young as three months, underscoring the difficulties China faces in cleaning up the image of the world's second-biggest drug industry as it aims to promote its vaccines globally.

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