Chinese Doctors and Trafficker Detained in Lead Poisoning Case | Taiwan News

A court has ordered two Taichung-based traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and a drug dealer to be detained and held incommunicado for their role in a heavy metal poisoning case that sickened at least eight people.


The Taichung District Court granted a request by prosecutors to detain Chinese medicine clinic chief practitioner Sheng Tang Lu Shih-ming (呂世明), Chinese medicine clinic practitioner Jin Fu Hung Chang-hung (洪彰宏) and Ou Kuo-liang (歐國樑), head of the Hsin Lung Medicine Co. The trio are suspected of violating pharmaceutical laws due to their involvement in the lead poisoning of at least eight people, including former Taichung City Council Chairman Chang Hung-nien (張宏年), his wife, son, and daughter, the court ruled.


He said the trio should be detained because they could destroy or tamper with evidence or conspire to tamper with testimony if they were to be released.
According to the court ruling, Lu and Hung are suspected of prescribing banned drugs while Ou provided them. The high-profile case emerged after Chang’s son, Taichung city councilor Chang Yen-tung (張彥彤), told reporters last Friday that he had been hospitalized for a month after being diagnosed with lead and mercury poisoning.


His father, sister and mother were also diagnosed with lead poisoning after complaining of abdominal pain, Chang Yen-tung said, pointing to the more than 300 micrograms (μg) of lead detected in his blood. father, well above the common level of 10. µg. Chang Yen-tung said Thursday he filed a complaint with prosecutors against Lu for attempted murder because his father, who is still being treated in hospital, was diagnosed with brain damage and may need medical attention. kidney dialysis to save his life. He also intends to sue for damages.


The Chang family had been taking traditional Chinese medicine prescribed by Lu for a long time, but during testing some of the medicine’s ingredients were found to have excessive levels of lead and mercury. Meanwhile, a family of four from Changhua County reported having high levels of heavy metals in their blood to the Taichung City Health Bureau and accused the Jiu Fu Clinic of using banned drugs on them.


On Thursday, the Taichung District Prosecutor’s Office launched a search with police and city health officials of Sheng Tang and Jiu Fu and Hsin Lung clinics, which were found to be supplying problematic Chinese medicine ingredients to clinics.


Prosecutors said the two clinics asked their patients to return prescribed medications, claiming they were incorrectly prescribed, and exchange them for the correct ones. “It is obvious [they] attempted to destroy the evidence,” prosecutors said in a statement on the case.


In addition, the two clinics were found to have failed to record the symptoms and medications they prescribed to patients, which is also against the law, prosecutors said. The incident has snowballed since last week, with increasing numbers of people getting checked for heavy metals in their blood at city-designated hospitals.


As of Thursday, 12 of 60 people checked had excessive amounts of heavy metals in their blood, according to the city’s health bureau.