China agency aids US shut 18 illegal drugs sites

The China State Food and Drug Administration helps the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bring down Chinese-language sites selling counterfeit drugs such as Viagra and date rape pills.

The China State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) helped initiate the joint campaign with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which brought down 18 Chinese-language Web sites in America selling illegal drugs.

According to China Daily's report on Tuesday, the Sino-U.S. collaboration was launched in June this year and targeted Web sites in the U.S. advertising counterfeit drugs and health food. The 18 sites take down were run and hosted by Chinese speakers and aimed for Chinese consumers including Chinese Americans around the world, said Christopher Hickey, director of the U.S. FDA's China office.

Some of these sites offered free Viagra or Cialis pills to treat erectile dysfunction when consumers purchase health food, while other sites sold a suppressant marketed and sold for data rape, Hickey mentioned in the report.

"Using information from the SFDA, we have been able to shut down these illegal Web sites but it's difficult to say where the drugs were made," the director said.

"We welcome and appreciate the role played by the China State Food and Drug Administration to initiate the campaign and hope to continue combined efforts in the global fight against counterfeit drugs," he added.

He acknowledged the difficulty in totally removing such Web sites though, as the offenders can change their host location easily and quickly. To prevent these sites from re-appearing, Hickey said global cooperation is key.

National crackdown
The Sino-US collaborations was also part of a national clampdown on fake and illegal drugs within mainland China, said SFDA spokesperson Wang Lianglan in the report.

The operation saw police seizing 205 million tablets designed to look like branded drugs for treating male impotence, hypertension, diabetes and cancer, it noted. Wang added the SFDA will step up operations in the rest of the year with other law enforcement agencies and government departments to curb counterfeit medicince.

The next phase will see them enhance inspection of clinical trial for drugs made in China and meant for export to the United States, Hickey said.


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