China said it will work to crack down on counterfeit products such as software, music, organic corn, and pharmaceuticals, according to an article from the Associated Press. The government will launch a six-month campaign focused on eradicating sales of illegally copied and fake goods, said Jiang Zengwei, a deputy commerce minister, at a news conference earlier this week. Zengwei also said that China will cooperate more closely with the United States, Japan and Europe on the issue of counterfeit goods. Trade groups estimate that fake Chinese products cost legitimate producers billions of dollars a year in lost sales, according to the AP article, which also reported that American officials said that counterfeit heart and cancer drugs from China have been found “as far away as Africa.”
In India, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit promised earlier this week to fight the public health threat of counterfeit drugs. Speaking at a seminar on combating counterfeit drugs, she urged a policy of zero tolerance toward them, according to an article from The Times of India.
Dikshit’s action plan calls for improved testing of suspected counterfeit drugs and increased vigilance against fakes among pharmacists and regulatory agencies. It also recommended that the State Drug Control Department be strengthened and should focus on halting the spread of counterfeit medicines.
“It is also the need of the hour to have an adequate testing laboratory to ensure that the suspected samples are tested expeditiously,” she said. Dikshit urged pharmacists to ensure that their sources of pharmaceuticals are safe. Establishing a toll-free helpline to receive complaints of suspected counterfeit drugs was also proposed.
These measures launched by China and India will be good steps toward eliminating the spread of illegal fake goods and pharmaceuticals. Because of the growing problem of counterfeits, more efforts will be needed to make strides in eliminating them to protect the health of consumers and the business interests of pharmaceutical companies.