Chinese authorities reported a $315 million counterfeit drug and packaging bust on Thursday November 17, 2011.

16,000 police officers apprehended 1,770 suspects and raided more than 1,400 manufacturing and sales locations, reported AFP.

Authorities found banned chemicals, repackaged expired pharmaceuticals and forged qualification documents. Over 100 different formulations from both domestic and foreign pharmaceutical firms had been copied in tablets and injections.

Authorities believe the counterfeit medications were sold online or to illegal pharmacies or clinics, reported Xinhua.

Counterfeits of cancer medication, anti-infectives, growth hormones, and medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and gynecological diseases were found by authorities, reports Securing Pharma.

Chinese authorities say that a loose network of individuals and gangs conspired to manufacture, distribute and sell counterfeit medicines while colluding with dishonest pharmacists and clinics.

By S. Imber