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China admits to fake 'made in India' drugs: Official

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 12.08.09

New Delhi, Aug. 11 (PTI): China has admitted that its pharmaceutical companies were involved in shipping fake drugs labelled “made in India” to Nigeria.

“The Chinese authorities have accepted this position (that Chinese firms were involved),” an official said.

“The Indian government took up the matter with Nigerian authorities. On further probe it was found that the drugs had actually originated in China, not India,” he added.

In June, Nigeria’s drug regulatory authority, the National Agency for Food And Drug Administration And Control, had reported the seizure of a large consignment of fake anti-malarial generic pharmaceuticals labelled “made in India”.

India took up the matter with China fearing this could damage the reputation of the $12-billion Indian pharmaceutical industry in the global market.

Beijing assured New Delhi that it would investigate the matter but did not give the Indian authorities any timetable, the official said.

India has asked its missions in the region to step up vigil to protect the nation’s image and market.

“These kinds of incidents are also tarnishing the image of the Indian pharmaceutical products in the international market,” the official said.

To crack down on the growing racket of spurious drugs, the government will introduce measures, including bringing in private detective agencies, setting up a separate intelligence network and a reward up to Rs 25 lakh for informers.

“Steps are also being taken to set up drug testing centres at various ports, besides offering rebates in ceiling price to drug manufacturers who adopt the latest packing technology to counter the menace,” an official had said.

On August 3, a four-member Nigerian delegation led by the director-general of the National Agency for Food And Drug Administration And Control, Paul Orhii, had met Indian authorities and discussed the recent seizure of the consignment.

The Nigerian drug control watchdog has taken up the issue with global police agency Interpol, which is looking into the case.