World News

China arrests leaders of fake drug ring - Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have arrested 10 people they said were responsible for making and selling fake drugs in eastern Jiangsu Province, state media reported on Friday.

“The fake drug ring penetrated 14 provinces across the country and had dozens of underground paths of distribution selling human albumin,” Xinhua News Agency quoted provincial officials as saying.

Jiangsu authorities said the albumin was found to contain no protein after running tests, prompted by patients’ complaints in September 2007 that the drug had brought no visible “improvement” to them.

“The drug is used for patients in critical conditions such as loss of blood, shock from burnings, liver cirrhosis and cancer,” Xinhua said. “It can delay proper treatment, aggravate symptoms and even cause death if the drug is fake.”

The gang, which labelled the drug with falsified packaging of a legitimate company, earned 20 million yuan ($2.82 million) in profits from the operation, according to the report.

China has been hit by a series of cases involving quality concerns over food, drugs and other products that have alarmed citizens and shaken global consumer confidence in “made in China” products.

The government has sought to restore confidence in the country’s goods through a nationwide crackdown on the food and drug industry.