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China bans sale of GlaxoSmithKline drug

Augmentin Intravenous

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is launching an investigation into its antibiotic drug Augmentin after it was recalled in China.

China ordered the recall after tests showed that Augmentin contained traces of diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), something which is used to improve the flexibility of plastics.

This comes just days after GSK enhanced its presence in China with a £24million deal which has seen it take full control of Shenzhen GSK-Neputnus Biologicals, an influenza vaccine maker.

Last week, Hong Kong also ordered a recall of Augmentin after findings showed that there were unsafe levels of DIDP in antibiotic syrup which is produced in a French GSK factory.


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Augmentin is most commonly prescribed to children to treat infections and last year GSK’s sales of various forms of the drug totalled £291million.

In a statement a company spokesperson said: “GSK is currently in discussion with a number of regulatory agencies in the Asia Pacific region, some of whom have also conducted tests.”

“The amount of phthalates identified as present in Augmentin syrup samples tested is very low; some tests have found none and the highest level reported by the authorities is 88 parts per million.”

“Even this highest result is significantly lower than the levels that the US and European authorities deem as presenting no risk to humans.”

GSK is the latest drug company to have its products recalled because of fears.

Hong Kong has also exercised a ban on certain Taiwanese drinks after they were also found to be tainted with a plasticiser.

There has now been a huge recall of drinks in Taiwan; approximately half a million bottles of fruit juices and sports drinks.