Monday, June 1, 2009

China Denies Branding as Fake Drug Center

China says it has been unfairly dubbed as the center of fake drugs. This branding has arisen out of the numerous problems with raw materials sourced from China. However, Chinese officials think it is the overseas companies that are to blame, stating that some companies are sourcing their raw material through illegal suppliers.

"The problem lies in the fact that some overseas companies have an implicit deal with underground factories or illegal manufacturers in China, so the product involved has problems," Bian Zhenjia, director of the drug safety supervision department under the State Food and Drug Administration, told a press conference.

In 2008, heparin was recalled after reports of deaths and hundreds of adverse reactions. The cause was linked to an adulterated substance found in the raw material traced to a dozen Chinese suppliers, some of whom were not even registered as pharmaceutical suppliers.

While China might deny the name, they have suffered the effects of counterfeiting domestically as well as abroad. Last year, they recalled several Chinese herbal medicines and recalled a diabetes drug in January that was linked to two deaths in Xinjiang. Samples showed the medicine contained six times the normal amount of a chemical ingredient used to lower blood sugar.

China's own regulatory authority, State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) counted 329,613 cases of distribution of unlicensed drugs and medical products in 2007, according to the China Daily newspaper.

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