Chinese police seized two billion yuan ($315-million) in counterfeit drugs and arrested over 1,700 suspects in a nation-wide crackdown on fake medicines in late November, according to the international news organization AFP.
AFP cited a press release from China’s Ministry of Public Security, which stated that over 1,400 “dens” that made or sold counterfeit medicines were shut down during the operation. The raids involved about 16,000 police officers.
The suspects were found to have used banned chemicals as ingredients for the counterfeit drugs, re-packaged expired pharmaceuticals and forged qualification documents, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Suspects had copied prescription tablets and injections from more than 100 domestic and overseas pharmaceutical firms.
Most of the fake drugs were sold online or to illegal pharmacies or clinics, the press release stated.
This action is the latest in a series of Chinese government crackdowns on fake and illegal medicines. In early November, Chinese officiala announced that a “gang” that produced and sold fake medicines had been raided, resulting in the arrest of 114 suspects and seizure of more than 65 million counterfeit tablets.[/membership]