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Shenzhen Targets Pharmacies Selling Fake Drugs
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Starting next week, authorities in Shenzhen will launch a citywide campaign to screen the channels through which retail pharmaceutical stores in the city purchase their drugs.

Severe punishment will be handed out to retail pharmacies that are found to have violated relevant regulations, Thursday's Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported, quoting officials with the municipal food and drug administration. Pharmaceutical stores found to have caused serious accidents by selling fake medicines will have their business permit revoked, the Daily report said. Stores caught selling fake drugs twice will have their licenses suspended.

Currently, there are 1,600 retail pharmacies within the special economic zone. The citywide campaign has been launched to ensure the quality of drugs by regulating the pharmaceutical sector, said Bai Xiaobin, head of the inspection division under the municipal food and drug administration. Bai said about 5 percent of the retail pharmacies in Shenzhen have been blacklisted for drug-purchasing problems of various kinds. The campaign will mainly target these problem stores that will be inspected individually starting next week, he said.

During the campaign, the inspectors will check whether drug suppliers are legal, and also inspect the purchasing records and the computer systems at the pharmacies. In the future, all the computer systems at the city's retail pharmacies will be required to be linked to that at the municipal food and drug administration.

(Shenzhen Daily October 13, 2006)

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