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Joint plan to scuttle market for fake drugs

PEOPLE using the Internet to sell counterfeit drugs in China will face severe punishment as the government steps up the fight against illegal sales, according to a joint statement by 13 ministry departments yesterday.

The departments met to launch a year-long campaign that aims to cut off distribution channels for fake drugs, including online purchases and postal delivery.

The effort marked the establishment of a mechanism that will more effectively coordinate the work of divergent departments to curb the production and sale of fake products, said Shao Mingli, vice minister of health and the head of the State Food and Drug Administration.

He noted that pharmacies are strictly regulated but that online dealers have now emerged as a new hotbed for counterfeit medicines.

Illegal dealers publish online advertisements to lure customers, who then make payment when the product is delivered to their doorstep.

The new mechanism will enable law enforcement agencies to crack down on fake drugs from production to circulation, by closing down Websites that advertise fake drugs and by suspending bank and telephone accounts of companies involved in illegal trades.


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