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Police Find 10 Fake Drugs in Heilongjiang
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Food and drug supervisors in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province have confirmed that 10 out of the 67 drugs they seized in a major drug crime were counterfeit, People's Daily reported Friday.

The fake drugs, including human serum albumin, rabies vaccine, cefalexin tablets, were sold in the rural areas of Harbin and Mudanjiang in the province, the report cited the Food and Drug Administration of Heilongjiang as saying.

Fake drug manufacturers were said to have first bought drug packages from southern China and then fabricated stamps of legitimate drug companies, as well as the drug production warrants, the report said.

The report said that 198 people in Mudanjiang have already used the fake drugs. Another 199 have used the counterfeit drugs in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province.

The report didn't say what side effects those people who used the fake medicines would suffer.

The administration, in collaboration with Mudanjiang City's police and health departments, is now carrying out raids at drug markets in the city's rural areas. The provincial health authority also released an urgent notice to its subordinates, requiring an immediate check of drugs to ensure they were safe.

China tightened inspection of pharmaceuticals to improve drug safety and prevent corruption in the approval process after the state's former top drug regulator Zheng Xiaoyu was executed on July 10 for taking bribes and allowing substandard medicines onto the market.

Zheng, 63, was found guilty of taking 6.49 million yuan (US$850,000) in bribes and dereliction of duty. He was said to "have sought benefits" for eight pharmaceutical companies by approving drugs and medical devices during his tenure as China's chief drug and food official from June 1997 to December 2006.

Six types of medicine approved by the administration under Zheng's leadership were later found to be counterfeits.

(Shanghai Daily August 10, 2007)

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