Guangdong tightens supervision on medicines
GUANGZHOU: All medicines and health products sold in hospitals and drug stores in Guangdong Province are to come under strict supervision, with special digital codes to identify them.
They will also have to be first registered with local medicine supervision administration and related government authorities before they can enter marketing channels in the province.
Under the "digital control project of medicine quality," which is scheduled to be completed within three years, patients or residents can get details of medicines and health products by inputting the digital code of the product on a computer.
The code also includes information about the manufacturers and selling channels of the products.
Medicines that have no code will be regarded as counterfeit or illegal, and will not be sold in the province, according to Chen Yuansheng, director of the Guangdong Provincial Administration of Medicine Supervision.
The cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan and Huizhou will be the first areas to introduce the project this year.
All cities in Guangdong will come under the same rules by August 2008.
The move aims to safeguard the quality of medicines and health products sold in the southern Chinese province, Chen said.
The project was launched after many counterfeit medicines, health and cosmetic products were seized in Guangdong markets in the first six months of this year.
Chen's administration investigated 3,399 cases involving 11.6 million yuan (US$1.43 million) between January and June.
The administration has imposed fines worth more than 15 million yuan (US$1.85 million) on producers of counterfeit products in the same period.
More than 120 factories that churn out the goods have been shut down in the province.
"The crackdown has dealt a heavy blow to the practice in the province," Chen said.
He said his administration would launch even more special inspections and campaigns to help fight the illegal practice in the second half of the year.
"Priority will be given to medical appliances, health products and cosmetics," he said.
Chen said he believes the production and sales will be under control in Guangdong in three years' time.