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JINAN - Police in east China have arrested a former pharmacist and her daughter for illegally selling hundreds of millions of yuan worth of vaccines.

The pharmacist, surnamed Pang, was head

of the pharmacy at a hospital in Heze city in Shandong province. After leaving the hospital, Pang began illegally selling vaccines. She received a suspended jail term for the offence in 2009.

Starting in 2011, Pang teamed up with her daughter, a medical school graduate, to buy vaccines from sales representatives of over 100 manufacturers and sold them to 300 buyers, including staff at local centers for disease control and prevention across China.

Their sales totaled 310 million yuan ($47.5 million), said the public security bureau in Jinan, capital of Shandong, citing an investigation of their 22 bank accounts.

It is against the law in China to sell vaccines without proper licenses. The two also violated the law that requires vaccines be kept in the cold chain at any time, exposing users to potential health risks, police said.

Manufacturers who sold the vaccines to the unlicensed duo have received administrative punishments from drug watchdogs, and related disease control and prevention workers are facing criminal investigations.

The case has been transferred to prosecutors.

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