Updated on 27 April 2016
Wholesalers will no longer be allowed to trade vaccines in China
Singapore: According to a recent decision publicized by the Chinese government, wholesalers will no longer be allowed to trade vaccines in the country. The decision comes as a huge scandal involving the sale of millions of dollars' worth of improperly stored vaccines surfaced recently.
The document elaborated that the new regulation will help fix the problems identified by an investigation into the vaccine scandal. The Chinese government further assured that the management of distribution channels and cold-chain storage will be improved and a national vaccine tracking system will be established.
The new rule requires B-class vaccines to be distributed in the same way as A-class ones, which are covered by the national compulsory immunization program and provided to the public for free.
Ms Gu Weijun, head of a medical and pharmaceutical engineering equipments association, said the vaccine case showed that the distribution chain of B-class vaccines was too long, allowing wholesalers, disease control agencies and clinics along this chain to profit.
As per the new decision, China will also set up a vaccine tracking system, to record the circulation and use of vaccines so that even the smallest vaccine package can be pinpointed anywhere in its entire life cycle.
Mr Song Hualin, professor of law school of Nankai University, said that the new system will improve transparency and will help maintain the cold chain and temperature needed for vaccine storage. "The system will spur the vaccine producers to improve quality management over their products and ensure their safety and effectiveness," he added.