Skeptic News: 2,000 detained in fake medicine swoop

20120806-155324.jpgPolice in China have detained almost 2,000 people in a national blitz on fake medicines.

The public security ministry said police seized counterfeit products that would have brought in $180 million and destroyed 1,100 production facilities.

The operation involved about 18,000 police officers.

They found fake drugs which claimed to manage various illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure and rabies.

But the ministry said the counterfeit drugs actually caused health problems ranging from liver and kidney damage to heart failure. Authorities say the suspects went so far as to advertise their drugs online, in newspapers and on television.

“The criminals’ methods were despicable and have caused people to boil with rage,” the ministry said.

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 laurels.
“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 legitimate pharmacies and hospitals and not “easily believe advertisements”.

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