BEIJING Aug 5 Chinese police have detained
almost 2,000 people in a nationwide sweep on fake drugs, seizing
more than $180 million worth of counterfeit products and
destroying some 1,100 production facilities, the public security
ministry said on Sunday.
The operation, involving around 18,000 police officers,
discovered fake or adulterated drugs purporting to deal with
illnesses ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure and
rabies, the ministry said in a statement on its website
The suspects went so far as to advertise their drugs online,
in newspapers and on television, and the drugs caused problems
ranging from liver and kidney damage to heart failure, it added.
"The criminals' methods were despicable and have caused
people to boil with rage," the ministry said.
The government has repeatedly promised to tighten regulatory
systems after safety scandals involving fish, drugs, toys,
toothpaste, children's clothes, tyres, drugs and milk fortified
with melamine, used in the manufacture of tabletops.
But little has been done apart from a few, highly publicised
arrests. Tackling the issue has not been helped by China's
confused and still developing regulatory environment, corruption
and the high profits counterfeiters can rake in.
Earlier this year, Chinese consumers recoiled at stories of
drug capsules tainted with chromium, long-term exposure to which
can cause serious organ damage.
While it hailed the success of the latest raids, the
ministry warned it was too soon to be able to rest on their
"The crime of making fake drugs is still far from
eradicated, and criminals are coming up with new schemes,
becoming craftier and better able to deceive," it said.
The ministry called on consumers to only use above board
pharmacies and hospitals and not "easily believe