Related News

Home » Nation

Magazine reveals TCM profits scam

DISTRIBUTORS of traditional Chinese medicine collaborated with local hospitals and even unlicensed clinics to reap staggering profits illegally by writing false invoices and manufacturing and delivering fake drugs, China Economic Weekly reported yesterday.

China's herbal market is split into in three parts - herb, herbal pieces and patent medicine. TCM distributors mainly focus on the sale of herbal pieces, the report said.

Some vendors sold pieces from unidentified sources to small clinics while some others made deals with hospitals to earn hundreds of times what the drugs were worth.

Some industry insiders even made counterfeit expensive medicines with worthless materials, according to the magazine.

The ongoing nationwide medical reform has included TCM on China's Essential Medicine List, which was considered a historic opportunity for the industry, said the report.

Under the medical reforms, the government will be in charge of the bidding and delivery of TCM to cut out redundant chains and standardize retail prices based on reasonable profits.

"It's a good idea, but difficult to carry it out as the business has run wild and the troublemakers are those distributors," an industry insider in Beijing told the magazine.

"The staggering profits on herbal pieces are horrible, but the more horrible thing is the huge risks that patients are facing," the insider said.

The market was awash with substandard or even fake herbal pieces and the manufacture of qualified products from eligible pharmaceutical plants was being affected, according to the source.

A TCM distributor in his 50s, identified as Guo, told the magazine he delivered herbal pieces from unidentified sources to hospitals and clinics in Beijing with monthly sales of more than 600,000 yuan (US$87,800).

Another told the magazine he offered hospitals false invoices and bribed hospital clerks.

The State Food and Drug Administration has urged the introduction of good manufacturing practices.

However, small unlicensed workshops were offering products at more competitive prices, said the report.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend