Fake drugs have Chinese ingredients

INVESTIGATION:Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said authorities are trying to identify those involved in the production and distribution of the counterfeits

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 10, 2017
By: Wu Liang-yi, Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporters, with staff writer

Counterfeit batches of Crestor brand lipid-lowering drugs contained ingredients from

Two pharmacists, left and center, and an employee of Zuellig Pharma Taiwan yesterday display a new batch of lipid-lowering drug Crestor with the word “exchange” printed on the packages and certification proving them to be real at a pharmacy in Taipei, after two batches of the drug were found to have been counterfeit last week. Photo: CNA

Chinese pharmaceutical producers, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday after being subjected to a barrage of questions from a lawmaker.

A recall was issued on Tuesday for all of AstraZeneca’s Crestor tablets following a discovery last week that two batches of the drug prescribed to 570,000 National Health Insurance patients were counterfeits made from atorvastatin, a cheaper drug whose patent had expired.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare did not release any information regarding the quantity, distribution or origin of the fake drugs until yesterday, when Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) grilled Chen on the issue during a legislative session.

Following Liu’s questions, Chen said that the fake drugs’ ingredients were mailed from China to Taiwan, but the identity of many individuals involved in their production and distribution remained unknown to authorities.    [FULL  STORY]

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