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September 5, 2012

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

FDA restricts cold remedies in war on illegal drug

LOCAL residents who buy medicines containing ephedrine will be asked to show their identity card and have their name and ID number registered under a national campaign to fight against the illegal practice of using ephedrine in medicines to make methamphetamine, also known as "meth" or "ice," said Shanghai Food and Drug Administration yesterday.

The State Food and Drug Administration issued the notice and provincial drug authorities are asked to issue regional rules to carry out the campaign to deal with crimes of extracting ephedrine from common medicines to make methamphetamine.

So far, the Food and Drug Administration in Zhejiang Province and Beijing have announced detailed rules, ordering a real-name registration for buying medicines containing ephedrine and a maximum purchase at one time of five small packs.

Existing rules also limit purchases at one time at five small packs.

Since China has tightened the management of ephedrine, criminals started to purchase medicines containing ephedrine to produce methamphetamine. Compound medicines containing ephedrine are usually medicines treating cold and asthma and most are over-the-counter ones.

Officials from Shanghai FDA said the city is working on local rules and so far no ID card is required for buying cold medicines.

"The regulation on maximum purchases started in 2008," said Du Bing an official of Shanghai FDA. "Concerning the large number of expatriates living in Shanghai, our detailed rule will also take these people into consideration." Foreigners are likely to have to show a form of ID such as a passport, officials said.

In addition to strictly regulating the sales and purchase of medicines containing ephedrine, local FDA will limit the production permit for such medicines and control the production amount. The ephedrine content in medicines will also be strictly limited.


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