In an effort to stem the tide of fake drugs being produced in their country, China’s Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) offers a bounty of $50,000 US to those who report counterfeit drug production. This comes on the heels of recent success by the SFDA in shutting down counterfeit drug websites catering to Chinese-speakers.

China’s Food and Drug Administration has begun offering an increased bounty to anyone who reports counterfeit drug production to the agency. On January 17th the SFDA (on their English-language website site) stated “To encourage the public to report illegal activities so as to discover, control and eliminate potential safety risks concerning food and drug in time, and to crack down on illegal and criminal activities concerning food and drug, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and the Ministry of Financial of China recently jointly issued the Reward Measures for Reporting Illegal Activities Concerning Food and Drug.”

Pills

Pills
by Jean Wang via Flickr.

In an effort to stem the tide of fake drugs being produced in their country, China’s Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) offers a bounty of $50,000 US to those who report counterfeit drug production. This comes on the heels of recent success by the SFDA in shutting down counterfeit drug websites catering to Chinese-speakers.

China’s Food and Drug Administration has begun offering an increased bounty to anyone who reports counterfeit drug production to the agency. On January 17th the SFDA (on their English-language website site) stated “To encourage the public to report illegal activities so as to discover, control and eliminate potential safety risks concerning food and drug in time, and to crack down on illegal and criminal activities concerning food and drug, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and the Ministry of Financial of China recently jointly issued the Reward Measures for Reporting Illegal Activities Concerning Food and Drug.”

Xinhua news agency reports that “Whistleblowers could get up to 300,000 yuan (about 48,244 U.S. dollars) per case as a reward, according to a circular publicized by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

The move aims to “encourage the public to report illegal activities so as to determine, control and eliminate potential safety risks concerning food and medicine,” the SFDA said.

The SFDA has been working with the US FDA since 2008 to improve oversight and testing of drugs manufactured for export to the United States. According to Christopher Hickey, Ph.D. head of the U.S. FDA’s 13-person staff in China, “the agency has trained more than 1,600 manufacturers and regulators on United States safety standards over the past two years,” reports the US FDA.

In addition, the SFDA and the FDA have started to work in concert on counterfeit drug enforcement, which led recently to a successful joint operation where US Food and Drug Administration agents working in China collaborated with the China Food and Drug Administration to shutter 18 Chinese-language websites illegally offering counterfeit drugs and health food for sale in the United States.

In November 2012, The Partnership For Safe Medicines announced the launch of PSM China.

“PSM China is the result of years of close collaboration and open discussion with public and private sector leaders across China,” said PSM Executive Director Scott LaGanga.“Criminals who prey upon unsuspecting patients are able to do so largely because the public is unaware of the harm counterfeit drugs can cause. Now, Chinese consumers have a powerful new resource to help educate and protect themselves from fake drug sellers and their potentially lethal products. We commend the Chinese government and participating stakeholders in addressing this challenge head-on, and look forward to working together in the weeks and months ahead.”

By working on improving both enforcement and oversight, The Partnership for Safe Medicines China aims to make patient safety the priority in China’s prescription drug industry.

By S. Imber