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300 drug and medical factories caught in raids
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China has shut down 300 drug and medical instrument manufacturers for bad quality products in a national campaign since last July, said China's drug watchdog on Monday.

The campaign to correct malpractice in the pharmacy industry is showing results, said Wu Zhen, deputy director of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), at a press conference.

By October, about 900 fake drug producers were dug out and 440 cases were handed over to the prosecutors while 279 persons faced criminal charges, he said.

In the campaign, inspectors have examined more than 29,000 types of drugs and gone through over 148,000 drug registration files and 26,000 ones for medical instruments.

About 7,300 pharmacy companies withdrew their application for drug approvals during the campaign, Wu said, adding that the quality of drugs, waiting for approval, has greatly improved though the number of applications dropped.

The inspectors also found 1,100 already approved drugs and medical appliances whose approval procedures were illegal.

"Producers of blood products and vaccines were high on the agenda of the inspection," Wu said. About 1,300 inspectors were sent to such pharmacy firms to tighten supervision.

The administration also checked the companies winning certificates of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and withdrew 150 such certificates, he said.

To regulate the medicine distribution, more than 900 drug retailers and wholesalers' sales licenses were withdrawn for selling drugs they should not sell.

Meanwhile, around 180 drugs and medical instruments were banned from sale after being advertised illegally.

(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2007)

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