Safe Medicines in China
August 2012 found The Partnership For Safe Medicine's Executive Director Scott LaGanga meeting with Chinese government and business authorities in Beijing to discuss counterfeit medications.
The timing of the visit coincided with a government seizure of $180 million worth of counterfeit medications said LaGanga, noting that there is still much to be done to curb counterfeit drug production in China. "While a critical development, our work is only getting started and it will take the public-private partnership of government, industry, stakeholders and individual patients before we can make a dent in this issue," wrote LaGanga in a blog post.
LaGanga first met with representatives from the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration. Further meetings with major stakeholders in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry included the China Association of Pharmaceutical Commerce, the China Nonprescription Medicines Association, the Chinese Medical Association and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.
LaGanga was encouraged by the meetings. "Hundreds of thousands of doctors are being trained about medicine safety," said LaGanga, adding that distributors are improving distribution chains to stop counterfeiting and industry and government are both working to protect and inform consumers.
Following his trip to Beijing, LaGanga stopped in Hong Kong, one of the businest ports in the world. There he met with the Hong Kong Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute. Hong Kong, said La Ganga, has become a target for counterfeiters as a pass-through from Asia to the rest of the world, but "Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department is a leader in protecting consumers and working collaboratively with industry."
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