China breaks up fake medicine racket

November 4, 2011

China said Friday it had busted a gang that produced and sold fake medicine -- some made of animal feed -- arresting 114 suspects and seizing more than 65 million counterfeit tablets.

China has frequently been hit by fake drug scandals despite government pledges to improve supervision of the industry, triggering growing public outrage over lax controls and official corruption.

The Ministry of said in a statement that around 1,000 police officers raided 117 dens and pharmacies that produced and sold fake drugs.

The raids were the result of a four-month investigation during which police discovered that the gang repackaged expired pharmaceuticals, or used dangerous ingredients such as and chemical pigments to make tablets.

"In order to make the fake drugs similar to the real medicine in colour, weight and other senses, some even added iron powder and diazepam (used to treat ) into their products... which caused huge harm to patients," it said.

The statement did not mention whether anyone had died or fallen ill after taking the counterfeit medicines or when the raids occurred.

Most of the fake drugs were sold to clinics and pharmacies outside city centres or in the countryside, and the sellers used newspapers, magazines and particularly the Internet for promotion, it said.

The case is the latest in a string of food and scandals to hit the nation.

In 2007, Zheng Xiaoyu, former head of the State , was executed for accepting $850,000 in in exchange for granting approval for hundreds of medicines, some of which were later found to be dangerous.

The case triggered governmental pledges to improve supervision of the country's food and drug industries, but incidents have nevertheless erupted since then.

One of the biggest scandals emerged in 2008 when huge amounts of the industrial chemical melamine were found to have been illegally added to dairy products, killing at least six babies and sickening another 300,000.

More recently in September, the government arrested 32 people over the sale of cooking oil made from leftovers taken from gutters.

Explore further: China finds another 22 fake Apple stores: report

Related Stories

China finds another 22 fake Apple stores: report

August 12, 2011
Another 22 fake Apple stores have been discovered in a southwestern Chinese city, a media report said on Friday, just weeks after authorities shut down two such shops.

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.