Thread hijack split: Chinese Medicines

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I'm really struggling to make a connection...
Graham4405

China also makes large quantities of copy-cat products, often of inferior quality.
* e.g. cheap secatures that go blunt and fall to bits after little use.

The worst example is (together with India) is the manufacture of substandard medicine that:

* either contains too little of the active ingredients, and help breed immunity in the bacteria and visuses,
* or contains no active ingredient, and is a complete waste of money.

[edit]Don't alter your posts after they have already been quoted by others. Offer any further information as a seperate post. Thanks.[/edit]

Fake zoo animals is just another example, though humerous rather than serious.

Sponsored advertisement

  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The milk wasn't fake, but the meds are.

What meds? These ones:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/17/us-china-multinationals-crackdown-idUSBRE96G06C20130717 - My bolding.
- China announced a nationwide crackdown on the sale of illegal medicine on Wednesday and said it would tighten industry regulation, piling pressure on a sector already reeling from a bribery scandal at British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.
The State Food and Drug Administration said the six-month campaign would also target illegal online drug sales and the sale of fake traditional Chinese medicine. It gave no details on possible changes to regulation.
"We must resolutely punish illegal acts, expose illegal enterprises, recall problematic products," Wu Zhen, the agency's deputy commissioner, said in a statement.
The crackdown comes two days after Chinese police accused GlaxoSmithKline of bribing officials and doctors to boost sales and raise the price of its medicines in China.
Police said GSK transferred up to 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years to facilitate the bribes. In response, GSK said it was deeply concerned by the developments, which it called "shameful".
The food and drug agency did not specifically mention GSK, but a spokesman for China's Commerce Ministry said authorities would not hold back punishing companies engaged in bribery.
"Whether it's a domestic or foreign-invested enterprise, once it has violated Chinese law, it will be sanctioned," Shen Danyang told a news conference.
Widespread counterfeit drugs and false advertising have been a thorn in the side of Chinese regulators for years, and the drug agency has conducted campaigns in the past to crack down.
Last August, Chinese police detained almost 2,000 people in a sweep on fake drugs, seizing more than $180 million worth of counterfeit products and destroying some 1,100 production facilities.
The seized fake drugs purported to deal with illnesses ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure and rabies and had been advertised on television, online and in newspapers.
Beijing also promised to clean up its act following the deaths of at least 149 Americans who received contaminated Chinese supplies of the blood-thinner heparin in 2008.

COSTLY MEDICINE
But the country's complicated and still developing regulatory environment has stymied efforts at tackling the problem, which infuriates Chinese consumers, who also express anger at what they see as the high price of legitimate medicine.
Often, big Western companies package older medicines under their own labels as "branded generics" in emerging markets such as China, where the drugs command a hefty premium to ones made by local suppliers given their reputation for quality.
A commentary in the People's Daily newspaper said China must "lift a sharp sword to pierce the improper, even illegal, costs behind rising drug prices" for which multinationals, such as GSK, were responsible.
China's planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is examining prices charged by 60 local and international drug makers including units of GSK, Merck & Co Inc and Astellas Pharma Inc.
The pharmaceutical sector was a "disaster zone", said Willy Lam, adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"This seems to be the largest and the best orchestrated effort to target multinationals ... they seem to be blaming foreigners for problems they cannot solve themselves," said Lam, who closely follows corruption issues in China.
Underscoring the heat on foreign companies, a separate commentary in the People's Daily called for a crackdown on commercial bribery by multinational firms in general.
It accused some of using their market dominance to exploit gaps in regulatory systems in developing countries.
"A crackdown on commercial bribery by multinationals is deeply significant to safeguarding the order of the market economy and protecting an environment of fair competition," said the commentary in the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.
Project bidding and tax systems for multinationals were also problematic, the commentary said, without giving details.
FOCUS ON FOREIGN FIRMS
Some experts have suggested China may be expanding an anti-corruption drive beyond government ranks and domestic companies including state-run entities, focusing now on foreign firms.
China has targeted foreign firms on multiple fronts in the past few months, although the probe into GSK is the only high-profile, publicly known investigation focused on bribery.
European food companies Nestle and Danone said early this month they would cut infant milk formula prices in China after Beijing launched an investigation into the industry.
Chinese media has been giving the GSK story plenty of attention.
On Tuesday night, state broadcaster CCTV aired an interview with one of four detained Chinese executives from GSK.
Liang Hong, vice president and operations manager of GSK (China) Investment Co Ltd, offered details on how he funneled money through travel agencies by arranging conferences, some of which were never held.
"To have contact with some government departments you need money that you cannot normally expense to the company," Liang said during the broadcast.
Liang said he paid bribes to officials from the NDRC as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which are among those required to get medicines approved or prices set.
It is rare for state TV to carry such interviews, although state news agency Xinhua had earlier been given access to Liang.
(Additional reporting by Wang Lan in BEIJING and Adam Jourdan in LONDON. Editing by Dean Yates)
Reuters


Or what about this?

http://www.cmpi.org/in-the-news/testimony/counterfeit-drugs-and-china-new
My name is Peter Pitts and I am President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former Associate Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration. During my tenure at the FDA, I was proud to have served on the agency?s Counterfeit Drug Taskforce.

When asked why he robbed banks, Willy Sutton, the depression-era desperado replied, "Because that?s where the money is." And, as former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan used to say, if Sutton were alive today he?d be selling counterfeit prescription drugs.

The bad news is that international prescription drug counterfeiting is on the rise and it?s nothing less than international health care terrorism.

I estimate that, globally, counterfeit drug commerce will grow 13% annually through 2010. That means counterfeit drug sales will grow at nearly twice the rate of legitimate pharmaceutical commerce.

In 2010 this illegal business will generate $75 billion in revenues? a 92% increase from 2005. The profits are high and the risks are low. That?s a deadly combination.

A large proportion of the world?s counterfeit medicines originate in Asia and end up in the US and EU. In the EU, between 1998 and 2004 there has been a 1000% increase in seizures of counterfeit prescription drugs.

China in particular is a production center. In 2001 it was reported that Chinese authorities closed 1,300 factories while investigating 480,000 cases of counterfeit drugs worth $57 million.

The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) of China announced that, from January-November 2005, it banned 114,00 unlicensed drug manufactures, destroyed 461 illegal pharmaceutical factories.

It is estimated that in China between 200,000 to 300,000 people die each year due to counterfeit or substandard medicine. And these are reported cases: the true number of cases is likely to be far higher.


Unfortunately, their problem is fast becoming our problem.

This past December US customs agents intercepted more than 50 shipments of counterfeit Tamiflu, the antiviral drug being stockpiled in anticipation of a bird flu pandemic. The fake drugs had none of Tamiflu?s active ingredients. Information on the packages was written in Chinese.

Jeffrey Gren, Director of the Commerce Department's Office of Health and Consumer Goods, announced in a recent speech that the U.S. government is working on stopping the illicit flow of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), which can be used in counterfeit medicines. Gren said that the Commerce Department is focusing efforts on China and India. China maintains that it cannot be responsible for the API used outside of the country.

The production and trading of an active pharmaceutical ingredient in bulk form needs to fall under the same regulations that govern the production and trading of manufactured pharmaceuticals.

Today this is not the case in China and, as such, is not regulated by the SFDA.

On April 29, 2006 the Chinese Department of Health announced that fake medicines purporting to lower blood sugar resulted in at least three blood-poisoning cases last year. Patients have received fake medicines with illegal chemicals.

The SFDA has released a warning about counterfeit Glucobay, a diabetes medicine. After receiving a complaint from a consumer, SFDA worked with Bayer to determine that the suspect product was counterfeit. Currently, officials believe 6,000 boxes could be affected, and an investigation against the counterfeit producers has been launched. In Shanghai contraband and expired medicines are becoming a concern in open-air markets.

Since early 2005, health regulatory officials in Leizhou have seized 308 types of fake and substandard medicines and medical devices.

Nigeria's health agency NAFDAC recently issued a public criticism of China's perceived unwillingness to collaborate against counterfeit medicines. Counterfeit medicines account for approximately 68% of the drug market in Nigeria, with the vast majority of the illicit products coming from China.

Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (the CIB) announced this week that roughly $9 million worth of counterfeit drugs was seized recently in Taipei. Counterfeits included: cold treatments, gastrointestinal medicines, sedatives, anti-obesity and erectile dysfunction drugs, and "210,000" unknown pills. The CIB claims that the counterfeits were of mainland Chinese origin.


During a recent FDA blitz operation at airports in New York City and Miami over 25 different controlled substances were found including such drugs as Diazepam, Codeine, Valium, and Anabolic steroids. Many of these were counterfeit and of Chinese origin.

Imposing effective deterrent penalties on those engaged in prescription drug counterfeiting is the most important step the Chinese government can take to stem the tide of illegal and unsafe counterfeit drugs. An effective criminal deterrent is a requirement of TRIPS (trade related aspects of intellectual property rights) Article 61.

The EU Council of Ministers recently approved a plan issued by the European Commission to improve Customs coordination against counterfeit goods. Currently, 70% of seizures of counterfeits are from China.

At the beginning of my testimony I mentioned that I served on the FDA?s Taskforce on Counterfeit Drugs. The taskforce recommended eight measures that should be taken to address this public health problem.

The eighth and final recommendation is:

Collaboration with foreign stakeholders to develop strategies to deter and detect counterfeit drugs globally.

I strongly urge this Commission to help make the FDA?s recommendation a reality, because if we wait for the current problem to become a disaster we will have only ourselves to blame.

As the Chinese proverb says,

An ant may well destroy a whole dam.

Thank you. 385 Russell Senate Office Building
Delaware & Constitution Avenues, NE

Washington , DC 20510
Peter Pitts, 5/31/2006
Peter Pitts
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
The US would not approve Thalidomide in spite of pressure from the manufacturer, whilst Australia allowed its use here Surprised

When it came to Asbestos, Australian companies with political support and powerful legal backing (no surprise who) denied, buried and stonewalled to avoid stopping its use and later paying compensation.

Then there was dioxin, and so on...

Some countries have a bit of catching up to do.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The US would not approve Thalidomide in spite of pressure from the manufacturer, whilst Australia allowed its use here Surprised
Groundrelay
CMIIAW, but Australian Doctor named IIRC William McBride warned against Thalidomide and perhaps prevent its use here.

Decades later, Thalidomide was found to have use against cancer, with care of course.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
And McBride was subsequently struck off the medical register in 1993 for falsifying data about the drug Debendox.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
And McBride was subsequently struck off the medical register in 1993 for falsifying data about the drug Debendox.
Valvegear
Quite so, but he did have that earlier success in warning about Thalidomide.

Which country(s) did McBride's Thalidomide warning protect? AUS or USA?
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
CMIIAW, but Australian Doctor named IIRC William McBride warned against Thalidomide and perhaps prevent its use here.

Decades later, Thalidomide was found to have use against cancer, with care of course.
awsgc24

The birth defects were already occurring here and elsewhere except the USA where the head of the FDA resisted (considerable) pressure to approve it. Subsequently McBride was the first to make the association. Nevertheless hundreds of afflicted children were born here with many not living to adulthood.

http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2012/02/50-years-after-thalidomide-why-regulation-matters/

Somehow I think she would have been steamrolled today given the considerable lobbying power of that industry Evil or Very Mad
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Are counterfeit drugs really a problem in this country?

I'm more concerned about the power of the Pharmacy Guild to keep prices high and restrict competition:

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3824780.htm

They control trading hours/locations of pharmacies; people complain about the CFMEU but the doctors and the pharmacists have the most powerful unions in the country by a long shot.  Fair enough that they have to protect their members but the more you look into it the more they look like a cartel unwilling to yield to any forms of competition.  They're the only union I know of that successfully kept Coles and Woolies out of their business despite repeated tries.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Are counterfeit drugs really a problem in this country?

I'm more concerned about the power of the Pharmacy Guild to keep prices high and restrict competition:

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3824780.htm

They control trading hours/locations of pharmacies; people complain about the CFMEU but the doctors and the pharmacists have the most powerful unions in the country by a long shot.  Fair enough that they have to protect their members but the more you look into it the more they look like a cartel unwilling to yield to any forms of competition.  They're the only union I know of that successfully kept Coles and Woolies out of their business despite repeated tries.
don_dunstan

Fake drugs are a big problem is some other countries, but not as far as I have heard in Australia, (except perhaps for mail orders via the internet).

The Pharmacy Guild is very strong indeed and earns perhaps $billion p.a. extra for their efforts.

One tradeoff, is that new Pharmacies cannot be located within say 3km of an existing one, so that pharmacies are spread out in lots of small shopping centres, where they would be within walking distance and walking-frame distance of their customer's homes.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
You are right about them having ultimate say on locations.  Friends of mine lived in a medium-size regional town (15,000 or so) and there were four established pharmacies; apparently they successfully used the Guild to keep people like Chemist Warehouse out of that town for many years; I'm not sure if it's still the case as my friends moved out of that town few years ago but it goes to show the power of these organisations.  Who decides that four pharmacies is enough for a town that size?  The Guild does apparently!

Coles and Woolies have taken them on many, many times and lost every time; I think on the most recent occasion the ACCC actually backed up the Pharmacy Guild and said they were right to restrict sales from supermarkets.  There's also severe restrictions on things like mail-order and internet services because of the Guild.

Everything isn't rosy if you are a qualified pharmacist though - I was speaking to a friend of mine recently who has knowledge of the industry and she tells me that there are way too many graduates and not nearly enough jobs (as is the case in lots of other industries).  Apparently experienced pharmacists used to be able to easily get $50 an hour for their services but now-days it's more like $30 p/h.  Nice to have a really strong professional union on your side though as it helps when you are trying to defend your business from the likes of Woolies and Coles - I can't imagine how difficult it must be for independent service stations right now.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

One tradeoff, is that new Pharmacies cannot be located within say 3km of an existing one, so that pharmacies are spread out in lots of small shopping centres, where they would be within walking distance and walking-frame distance of their customer's homes.
awsgc24

A few days ago I read in a newspaper that the Competition Rule for Drug Stores applied to a 1.5km limit, not 3km as stated above. It is not clear how the rule is applied; do existing Chemists have a veto, or do they have to appeal to a Pharmacy Tribunal?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
A few days ago I read in a newspaper that the Competition Rule for Drug Stores applied to a 1.5km limit, not 3km as stated above. It is not clear how the rule is applied; do existing Chemists have a veto, or do they have to appeal to a Pharmacy Tribunal?
awsgc24

I'm not sure if it's that transparent and I don't know what sort of appeals process there would be if you lucked out, maybe none.  1.5km is a fairly small radius too - less than a mile, but in a very dense area it would still be easy to breach.  What if you wanted to open another one in (say) a Westfield that already has one?

The ACCC gave the Guild the tick of approval a while ago so presumably they think there's no problems with how they operate.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I tend to agree with his point of view as I have not seen any "high quality stuff" coming from China. Perhaps you could let us know what the high quality stuff is.
northbritish

Pumps, for one. Both end suction, and split case, double suction designs.  They are well made, perform as or better than the published curve shows, and give very good service.  And, in case you're wondering, I speak as a man with 44 years experience in the pump industry.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
awsgc24: Just to finish that conversation in relation to pharmacies, I have spoken to someone in the know and they tell me it's actually very complicated and involves not just existing pharmacies AND the Pharmacy Guild but also the Commonwealth Dept of Health and Aging; apparently if you are a 'community pharmacy' (subsidised by the government?) then the Department has ultimate say and there's also a list of complicated rules including classifications of 'small' and 'large' shopping centres, 'one pharmacy towns', and so on.  And yes, other pharmacists do have a say via the Guild about your location if it's a new one that could potentially affect their trade, regardless of the status of your business.

As per usual, there's a government department for everything isn't there.

Just for my two cents, I don't really mind that the pharmacists have a such a strong, centralised way of being organised - it probably helps to keep things nice and stable in that industry.  Newsagents used to also have similar sorts of powers in relation to the location of other newsagents but I think the ACCC took them on and won with that one, I do recall they tried to stop supermarkets from selling newspapers and magazines for many years but ultimately lost. Doctors and police also have very, very strong unions - governments of all persuasions are really terrified of them.  I just wish that I had a union like that, the only unions I've ever been in were completely useless.
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

Pumps, for one. Both end suction, and split case, double suction designs.  They are well made, perform as or better than the published curve shows, and give very good service.  And, in case you're wondering, I speak as a man with 44 years experience in the pump industry.
Valvegear
I will defer to your knowledge of pumps as I don't much about them. I have only been associated with household type goods and find some questionable quality there.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: awsgc24

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.