77 million capsules made of industrial gel containing chromium, a carcinogenic heavy metal, were discovered in Hong Kong in the latest scandal to hit Chinas healthcare industry. An industry that is plagued by manufacture of fake and contaminated “medicines”.
China announced in May that 254 pharmaceutical suppliers, or 12.7 percent of the total, were producing tainted capsules. At least 10 are listed or linked to China-listed firms, according to the official Chinese media. Of 11,561 batches of drugs tested, 5.8 percent contained excessive levels of chromium.Instead of using gelatine derived from animal parts, they used cheap industrial gelatine from leather scraps treated with chromium that tans and softens animal hide.
The problem arises due to attempts to cut corners to meet the massive demand for genuine drugs and Traditional Chinese Medicines.