A Chinese senior health official says China has been unfairly labeled as a center for fake drug production and that blame should be placed instead on foreign companies who do business with unregistered firms against Chinese regulations.
Bian Zhenijia, director of the drug safety supervision department of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), urged companies to be more responsible when dealing with foreign suppliers.
“The problem lies in the fact that some overseas companies have an implicit deal with underground factories or illegal manufacturers in China, so the product involved has problems,” Bian said at a press conference.
China’s pharmaceutical industry is poorly regulated and several deaths and illnesses have been blamed on contaminated medications produced there. Last year, heparin manufactured in China was linked to more than 80 deaths and hundreds of illnesses in the United States. The blood thinner was later found to have been contaminated with a heparin-mimicking substance called oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, or OSCS. Heparin is derived from pig intestines, which are often produced by unregistered China businesses.
“I do not agree with what the foreign media say. The Chinese government has always paid a lot of attention to cracking down on fake drugs,” Bian told a news conference. “If the international community can give us information on fake drugs, we will resolutely investigate. There is no ambiguity about this.”
More than 300,000 cases of unlicensed drugs and medical products were distributed in 2007, according to SFDA.