China / Society

Fake drugs top online complaints

By Shan Juan ( Updated: 2014-04-25 21:31

Online sales of fake drugs and medical devices top the list of public complaints reported to the China Food and Drug Administration's hotline, 12320.

Hotline complaints totaled more than 210,000 in 2013 as the line has gradually become a major channel by which members of the public file complaints. It's also a way for the authorities to detect problem products, said Liu Pei, who heads the hotline operation.

Launched in 2011, the hotline mainly deals with public reports and complaints about medicines, food, medical devices and cosmetics.

A majority of the complaints focused on non-licensed products, online sales of fake drugs and media hype of certain products, according to Liu.

"The older people, particularly those who have no children, are most likely to be cheated," she said.

She suggested online sales of drugs and medical devices should be authorized by the administration. Currently, there are about 200 such websites registered for drug sales, she said.

Verified complaints would be referred, after preliminary investigation, to the appropriate authorities for final settlement. That could include drug authorities, the industrial or commerce departments or public security departments, she said.

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