Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has faced challenges over the years with tainted food scandals and medication recalls. Most recently, the agency ordered 28 heartburn drugs off the market as they contained a chemical that can cause cancer. Meanwhile, the agency also has to deal with corruption within its ranks.
Former Taiwan FDA deputy inspector Chen Wen-hsiung (陳文雄) has been sentenced for accepting bribes from a pharmaceutical manufacturer. It is the second instance of the case.
Taiwan’s High Court sentenced Chen, who reportedly accepted NT$3.58 million (US$115,460) in bribes, to four years in prison on September 24, UDN reported. Chen may still appeal the sentence.
Chen had been in charge of inspecting Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) at pharmaceutical facilities. He charged a consulting fee to help Taiwanese manufacturers improve their operations and bring them up to PIC/S GMP standards.
The company provided Chen with NT$20,000 per month to allow the company to continue producing Western medicine.
During the investigation, Chen admitted to accepting bribes and surrendered the money to authorities. He is also suspected of divulging trade secrets, for which he was sentenced to an additional year in prison as well as ordered to pay a fine. The latter charge cannot be appealed.
In the initial ruling from the New Taipei District Court, Chen was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for bribery and leaking trade secrets.