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    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Made in China: Watch out for drugs from China - they may be counterfeit:

    China is the source of most of the world’s fake drugs, experts say. In December, according to Xinhua, the state news agency, the former chief of China’s Food and Drug Administration and two of his top deputies were arrested on charges of taking bribes to approve drugs.

    The director, Zheng Xiaoyu, was in office from the agency’s creation in 1998 until he was dismissed in 2005 after repeated scandals in which medicines and infant formula his agency had approved killed dozens of Chinese, including children.

    “The problem is simply so massive that no amount of enforcement is going to stop it,” said David Fernyhough, a counterfeiting expert at the Hong Kong offices of Hill & Associates, a risk-management firm hired by Western companies to foil counterfeiters.

    The distribution networks, he said, “mirror the old heroin networks,” flowing to Thai distributors with financing and money-laundering arranged in Hong Kong. The penalties are less severe than for heroin.

    Daniel C. K. Chow, an Ohio State University law professor and an expert on Chinese counterfeiting, said he believed that the authorities would pursue counterfeiters “ruthlessly” for killing Chinese citizens but be more lax about drugs for export.

    They're pretty good at it, too:

    But the most frightening aspect appeared when the pills were tested. Some contained harmless chalk, starch or flour. But the latest, he said, contained drugs apparently chosen to fool patients into thinking the pills were working.

    Some had acetaminophen, which can temporarily lower malarial fevers but does not kill parasites. Some had chloroquine, an old and now nearly useless antimalarial.

    One had a sulfa drug that in allergic people could cause a fatal rash.

    And some had a little real artemisinin — not enough to cure, but enough to produce a false positive on the common Fast Red dye test for the genuine article.

    posted by Sydney on 2/21/2007 12:14:00 AM 1 comments


    This is a huge problem in China and there is no evidence it is getting better. I agree with your asssesment that the government is too focused on the internal problem to do much about exports.

    By Blogger ChinaLawBlog, at 2:22 AM  

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