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China, Africa should jointly fight fake drugs: newspaper


08:59, January 10, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- An investigative report carried by the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, on Wednesday called for joint efforts by China and Africa to eradicate the circulation of fake drugs.

The newspaper refuted recent claims that China is exporting fake anti-malaria drugs to Africa.

However, the newspaper's investigation showed that there indeed is rampant circulation of fake drugs in such African countries as Tanzania.

Severe shortages of medicines and general poverty among its people who cannot afford expensive drugs have made Tanzania a lucrative market for merchants illegally importing or manufacturing fake drugs for sale, according to local drug authorities.

Ugullum, acting chief of Tanzania's food and drug authority, said that 20 percent of drugs on the Tanzanian market are fake, despite strict approval procedures and inspections.

Most of these drugs came from counterfeiters, rogue dealers or smugglers both in and out of Africa, according to the official.

Public hospitals conduct stringent checks on their drug stocks, but many private clinics and pharmacies simply import cheap, inferior or even fake drugs, such as anti-malaria medicine.

Cao Gang, vice dean of the China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines & Health Products Importers & Exporters, said some fake drugs contain insufficient ingredients, some steal other companies' brand, while non-medical products are often sold for medical purposes, and others are "purely sugar or salt pills."

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