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Recent Efforts by Chinese Government to Crackdown on Counterfeit Drugs Show Progress

Though China has long been linked to the manufacture of counterfeit drugs, the last two years have shown that Chinese authorities are taking counterfeit drug crime much more seriously. China’s Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) cracked over 14,000 cases last year, a major toxic gel capsule ring was broken up, and Chinese authorities are working in concert with both the FDA and major drug manufacturers to track down counterfeit drug manufacturers and prosecute them. The founding of Partnership for Safe Medicines China also demonstrates China’s stakeholders’ commitment to improving patient safety both at home and abroad.

China made great strides in the last year in their efforts to combat pharmaceutical counterfeiting. Their cooperation with the US Food and Drug Administration on inspections is helping to safeguard both US and Chinese consumers. The founding of Partnership for Safe Medicines China underscores a new commitment to ensuing drug safety within their borders. Partnership for Safe Medicines China is the latest branch of the leading advocacy organization dedicated to fighting the global threat posed by counterfeit and misbranded drugs.

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Though China has long been linked to the manufacture of counterfeit drugs, the last two years have shown that Chinese authorities are taking counterfeit drug crime much more seriously. China’s Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) cracked over 14,000 cases last year, a major toxic gel capsule ring was broken up, and Chinese authorities are working in concert with both the FDA and major drug manufacturers to track down counterfeit drug manufacturers and prosecute them. The founding of Partnership for Safe Medicines China also demonstrates China’s stakeholders’ commitment to improving patient safety both at home and abroad.

China made great strides in the last year in their efforts to combat pharmaceutical counterfeiting. Their cooperation with the US Food and Drug Administration on inspections is helping to safeguard both US and Chinese consumers. The founding of Partnership for Safe Medicines China underscores a new commitment to ensuing drug safety within their borders. Partnership for Safe Medicines China is the latest branch of the leading advocacy organization dedicated to fighting the global threat posed by counterfeit and misbranded drugs.

China’s Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has also taken several steps toward ensuring drug safety in China itself. On February 6th, 2013, the SFDA announced sentencing in the notorious case where gel medicine capsules were being manufactured with toxic, industrial gelatin. In April of last year In April 2012, the Associated Foreign press reported that Chinese authorities detained 22 people who were accused of manufacturing gelatin drug capsules containing toxic Chromium, which can cause liver, kidney, and blood cell damage.

Xinhua news service reports that the SFDA and China’s Ministry of Public Security cracked 14,000 counterfeit drug cases in the last year, arresting over 20,000 suspects in the cases.

ZDNet’s Liau Yun Qing has also reported on a momentous effort by the SFDA and the Chinese search engine Baidu. The SFDA has provided Baidu with 3 new databases for their searches: one for certified drugs, a Wiki of drug information, and a database of websites that are certified to sell drugs online.

According to ZDNet, “users can search for information on drugs via Baidu using the medicine’s brand or generic names, as well as approval number. The search results will include information from SFDA’S database… when users search for online drug stores, Baidu will show a “certified” tag next to online stores which have been certified to sell drugs. SFDA’s database of instruction manuals for medicine also will be included in Baidu’s Wiki.”

On February 14, 2013, WGBH’s nightly television news program Greater Boston did a report about counterfeit drugs in the United States. The host, Emily Rooney, discussed the role of international cooperation in stamping counterfeit medicines with Pfizer’s John Clark, Chief Security Officer and Vice President of Global Security.  Clark described China as “one of the best countries that we have a cooperative relationship with”, and went on to say that China’s harsh penalties for medicine counterfeiters showed their serious intent on stamping out the problem.

By S. Imber

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