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Fake medicine becomes rampant in China

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[Beijing, July 26, 2003] With economic reform, China is going through some of own its painful experiences as well. Many pharmaceutical factories are making fake medicines or medicines that do not meet the medical requirements in competing for the drug market. Statistics show that 192,000 Chinese died of fake drugs in 2001 alone. Some of such drugs have been exported to Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. WHO reports that of all the world medicines, 8% are fakes which amounts to 32 billion dollars. In Mainland China, fake drugs can account for 40% in some regions.

The authorities in China are aware of this serious issue and have passed some regulations to govern the industry, but lack of legal teeth and support from the industry have made such rules more symbolic than practical.

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