Chinese health company Astra Zeneca is under scrutiny after a lawsuit alleges it was responsible for promoting AstraZeneca products for sale in China, a country with a notoriously high rate of asthma.
The lawsuit filed in a Chinese court accuses Astra of promoting Astralife’s AstraLube as a bronchodilator in China.
The lawsuit claims AstraMedics AstraGuard AstraNanex AstraGator AstraCortana AstraBaclofenThe lawsuit claims the Astra brand has a strong relationship with China’s Ministry of Health.
The ministry has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The Chinese government has been investigating Astra since last year when a series of Astra Medics Astralite products were recalled by Chinese consumers for allegedly causing asthma in infants.
Astra has since denied the allegations and the company has maintained it was the target of an unfair and unsubstantiated campaign against it.
Chinese consumer protection agency GAC alleges that Astra used AstraLab products in China to manufacture asthma medications and that Astrola and Astra, both Chinese companies, had their marketing operations in China shut down.
Astralia said it is working to settle the case.
China has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.
In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that the country has the second-highest rate of all developed countries, after India, with 2.6 million asthma cases.
Asthma has been linked to respiratory problems, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.
The Astra products AstraLine, Astra Lube and Astrolatone were all pulled from sale in the United States last year.