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Counterfeit Chinese malaria drug claims are false: newspaper (2)


13:25, January 10, 2013


The pharmaceutical market in African regions has long been cornered by foreign enterprises due to its high admission threshold, said Su Li, vice president of the Guilin Pharmaceutical Company.

Low-cost, high-quality medicine supplied by Chinese enterprises has helped to alleviate the shortage of affordable drugs in Africa, Su said, adding that Chinese companies will inevitably challenge the market dominance held by foreign companies.

Ouyang Daobing, a senior Chinese diplomat in Uganda, was quoted as saying that Chinese malaria medications containing artemisinin, a drug derived from wormwood, are easier to use, cheaper, more efficient and have fewer side effects than other anti-malaria medications, which usually feature quinine as their primary active ingredient.

Zhou Yong, manager of the Tanzanian branch of the Shanghai-based Hofon Cotec Pharmaceutical Corporation, provided the paper with a story about an alleged attempt by a British media organization to fabricate a story related to the company's medication.

One of the organization's reporters modified the packaging of one of the company's products and brought it to one of the company's dealers in Tanzania, asking the dealer if the product was fake, Zhou claimed, adding that the ruse was easily uncovered.

China has provided Uganda with anti-malaria medication since 2006 and the drugs' effects have been recognized by both Uganda's government and people, Ouyang said, adding that one of the medicines was recommended by Uganda's minister of health last year.

The Ugandan government seeks new forms of medical assistance from China every year, Ouyang said.

Although hundreds of thousands of people have died in Tanzania in years past due to malaria, the number dropped to 25,000 last year, the paper quoted Kissandu, marketing director of Hofon Cotec's Tanzanian branch, as saying.

Medicine from China should be exempt from criticism targeting African efforts to fight the disease, Kissandu said, adding that Chinese anti-malaria drugs account for just 10 percent of the market share for such drugs in Tanzania.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying refuted counterfeit Chinese drug claims last month, stating that cooperation between the Chinese government and African countries has played an important role in improving health care for Africans.

Hua said China attaches great importance to drug safety, adding that the country's management of exported drugs is consistent with international practices.

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