Monday, May 18, 2009

Chinese Government Busts Online Counterfeit Drug Dealers

China has often been cited as a source for the counterfeit drug trade. In answer to this, Chinese government has been issuing stricter enforcement than they did in the past. The following article is shocking both in discussing the sheer numbers of fake drugs in China and in the number of places that government officials have shut down:

China's ministries work together to bust online counterfeit drug dealers

BEIJING, May 17, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- People using the Internet to sell counterfeit medicines in China will face severe punishment as the government amps up the fight against illegal business in the next year, according to a consensus by 13 ministry departments Friday.

The ministerial departments held the meeting to launch a year-long campaign with aims to cut off circulation channels of fake drugs, mainly through online purchasing and postal delivery.

This marked the establishment of a mechanism that will more effectively coordinate different departments' work to curb the production and sale of fake products, said Shao Mingli, vice minister of health and the head of the SFDA.

The new mechanism will enable law enforcers to crack down on fake drugs from production to circulation, by closing down Web sites that advertise fake drugs, and by suspending bank and telephone accounts of companies allegedly involved in illegal trade, Shao said.

The SFDA said in February that law enforcers investigated nearly 300,000 cases of illegal activities related to medicine and medical apparatus in 2008, including the production and sale of fake drugs. A total of 363 production places of fake drugs were closed down and 94 people were charged.

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For comparison as to the extent of counterfeit drugs in China you need only look at the U.S. statistics to get the full impact of the severity involved. China had 300,000 cases of counterfeits/a year vs. US number of approximately 1759 cases/a year [according to the latest figure from Pharmaceutical Security Institute's (PSI)]

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