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December 15, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Local FDA cracks down on 165 cases of unqualified meds

LOCAL drug authorities cracked down on 165 cases involving the sale of underground or counterfeit medicines in the first 11 months this year, officials said yesterday.

Eleven criminals have been sentenced, while another 29 cases were handed to other provinces for further investigation, according to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

The largest case involved a ring of three family members, who were caught with 129 packages of medicines and medical appliances worth 2.8 million yuan (US$410,000). All three members were put in jail.

To put more supervision on local medical producers, Shanghai FDA widened spot checks on medicines and medical appliances available in local markets, as well as raw materials used by local producers.

All producers were checked at least three times, the most in recent years.

Some 3.2 percent of 13,657 checked medicines were unqualified.

There are 232 medical manufacturers in the city, including 58 high-risk companies producing vaccines, blood products and injections.

"To prevent questionable medicines and medical appliances entering the hospitals and drugstores, we move our inspection forward after receiving tips or reports on adverse reaction to the production procedure," said Tang Minghao, deputy director of Shanghai FDA.

"At least six cases involving products with hidden risks were detected during our routine checkup and were renovated or destroyed in time."

For instance, officials detected a company was sinking 166,000 bottles of antibiotics injection into water to wash out wrongly pasted labels.

"All the 166,000 bottles were destroyed under our supervision," Tang said.

Under the current fight against the swine flu, the local FDA sent a special official to the Shanghai Institute of Biological Products, the city's only approved swine flu vaccine maker, every day to ensure the quality of every batch of swine flu vaccine.

Along with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA is reporting all adverse reactions in people undergoing swine flu inoculation.


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