CHINA / National

China cracks 167,000 cases of illegal medical production in H1
Updated: 2006-08-15 21:31

BEIJING -- China uncovered 167,000 cases of illegal production and trade in medicines and medical equipment in the first half of this year, according to the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

A total of 260 million yuan (US$32.5 million) was involved in the cases and more than 200 underground drug production sites were shut down.

Fraudulent pharmaceutical company registration procedures were also detected and punished. The SFDA inspected 14 companies and investigated 131 kinds of drugs between January and June, said head of SFDA Shao Mingli.

Meanwhile, the administration monitored 270,000 illegal advertisements in the public domain of drugs, medical equipment and health foods and reported them to the industrial and commercial authorities.

The administration also punished 20 companies for illegal production during the first half of the year, said Shao.

It is planning to launch a one-year national campaign to regulate the drug market, which will target malpractice in drug research, production, distribution and application as well as slack supervision.

The decision was made after the administration came to the conclusion that the cause of a problematic antibiotic injection case, which left six dead, was improper sterilization during its production.

The "Xinfu" drug, manufactured in June and July by Anhui Huayuan Worldbest Biology Pharmacy Co., wasn't sterilized properly, with both the sterilization temperature and time below the state-required safety level.

The administration has so far recalled more than 1.2 million bottles of the drug, 173,007 are being returned to the factory and more than 403,170 bottles have been sealed up in other areas.

Two months earlier, a fake injection produced by the Qiqihar No. 2 Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd., a privately-owned business in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, caused 11 deaths in China.

Both of the companies involved in the two accidents are qualified pharmaceutical companies and their products were sold through legal channels.

The incidents prove that more efforts need to be devoted to checking raw materials, production facilities, workers' qualifications and managers' awareness of responsibilities in the drug industry, said Shao.