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Chinese authorities say they are cracking down on counterfeit drugs in the country. It's a problem that affects both domestic and overseas consumers. Police have carried out raids on fake drug makers this month, arresting nearly 2000 people. But some political commentators are doubtful these raids are effective, saying more comprehensive measures are needed.
Counterfeiting drugs has become a multibillion-dollar industry in China, and authorities say they're working to address the problem. During a nationwide raid last week, local police say they confiscated more than $315-million worth of fake drugs and packaging. They also arrested more than 1700 suspects.
Authorities criminalized the production of counterfeit drugs this year, but some analysts still expect the industry to expand. A political commentator says a comprehensive plan is needed to tackle the problem, but it may be hard to enforce.
[Cao An Ju Shi, Political Commentator]:
"Since the opening up of the Chinese government, fake drugs have surfaced frequently. Many involved are state-owned enterprises, and when a raid is announced a lot of counterfeit drugs are discovered. This shows a problem in government supervision. Why can't they maintain supervision all year long? Because government officials are implicated with counterfeit manufacturers, and they have a vested interest."
In 2007, the Chinese regime's former head of the State Food and Drug Administration was executed for accepting bribes to approve dangerous medicine.
One Beijing lawyer surnamed Li explains why it's difficult to combat counterfeit drugs.
The United Nations estimates that 3-billion dollars worth of counterfeit drugs and health products were sold in China last year, 40 percent were exported.