Chinese raids yield $315m-worth of fake drugs

Chinese yuanEnforcement actions by the Chinese authorities against counterfeit medicine networks have led to the seizure of around 2 billion yuan-worth ($315m) of fake drugs and packaging, according to just-released government figures.

The wide-ranging operation has led to the arrest of 1,770 suspects, shutdowns of 1,400 manufacturing dens, and the destruction of 350 criminal gangs, according to figures published earlier today by China's Ministry of Public Security.

The raids uncovered counterfeit, repackaged and expired medicines, chemicals used in their manufacture and forged documentation. Brands belonging to both overseas and Chinese companies were found in the operations, which took place in 170 cities across 29 Chinese provinces.

The range of medicines discovered spanned oral dosage forms and injections, western and traditional Chinese medicines, and included medicines for cancer, anti-infectives, growth hormone preparations and drugs for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and gynaecological diseases.

Counterfeits of a number of high-profile brands were discovered, including: Roche's Rituxan (rituximab); Pfizer's Lipitor (atorvastatin); Millennium Pharmaceuticals' Velcade (bortezomib); SciClone's Zadaxin (thymalfasin); Novartis' Glivec (imatinib); Genentech's Tarceva (erlotinib); and Johnson & Johnson's Sporanox (itraconazole).

Among the practices uncovered in the investigations were the manufacture of poor-quality copies of formulations, distribution of counterfeit medicines in genuine packaging, re-packaging of expired medicines, up-labelling of low-dose products, and the production of unlicensed medicines adulterated with potentially-hazardous compounds such as corticosteroids, according to the Ministry.

The report paints a picture of a vast, loosely integrated network of individuals and criminal gangs, who collude in the manufacture, distribution and even pricing of counterfeit medicines, often with the involvement of unscrupulous pharmacists and clinics.

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top