BUSINESS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tainted Chinese Drug Scandal Linked To U.S. Abortion Pill

A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.

Liu Kechen, 29, who also became paralyzed after injections with the contaminated drugs in a Beijing hospital, receives help from his wife, Ma Jingrong, in stretching his legs.

Chinese drug regulators have accused the manufacturer of the tainted drugs of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced them. In December, China's Food and Drug Administration said that the Shanghai police had begun a criminal investigation and that two officials, including the head of the plant, had been detained.

The drug maker, Shanghai Hualian, is the sole supplier to the United States of the abortion pill, mifepristone, known as RU-486. It is made at a factory different from the one that produced the tainted cancer drugs, about an hour's drive away.

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