China vows harsher punishment for production, sale of fake drugs

Updated: 2014-11-19 10:33


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China will hand out harsher punishment for the production and sale of fake and substandard drugs as the country combats increasingly severe drug scandals, judicial authorities said on Tuesday.

The decision came after the Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) issued a joint judicial interpretation to crackdown on crimes related to drug safety, said Han Yaoyuan, a director with the SPP.

Those who produce or sell fake or substandard drugs for pregnant women, infants, children and patients in critical condition will be given particularly heavier penalties, Han said.

Producing or selling fake or substandard narcotic, psychotropic, radioactive, toxic, injectable and first aid drugs will also face harsher punishment, according to the judicial interpretation.

Contraceptives and vaccines were also on the list.

Harsh punishments will also apply to medical workers engaged in such activity and those looking to take advantage of emergency situations such as a natural calamity or a public health incident.

Drug safety scandals in China has emerged as problem for millions of Chinese consumers.

In 2012, several Chinese pharmaceutical companies were implicated in a scandal involving the production of drug capsules with industrial gelatin, which contains a greater amount of chromium than edible gelatin.

According to the SPP, more than 3,500 people were prosecuted over crimes related to drug safety in the first nine months this year, of which close to four fifths were indicted.