In March this year, fake products of the National Health Administration's most popular anti-cholesterol statin were reported to have been widely sold to pharmacists. New Taipei City prosecutors office sought a 20-year prison sentence for the two suspects arrested in connection with this crime. Starting from next month, the FDA will also include these pharma products: blood preparations, vaccines and botulinum toxin, into the pharma tracing system.
In March this year, over 57,000 people used a fake statin made by an underground factory which repackaged out of date products and resold them at a tenth of the cost, to pharmacists. The company made over NT$70 million in a year. On June 27, the New Taipei City Prosecutors Office concluded its investigation and charged four suspects. The prosecutors sought 20-year sentences for two of them.
==WU HSIU-MEI Dir-Gen., FDA==
This is good news, as they should be brought to justice for their actions. The prosecutors seek a sentence of 20 years and I hope that our court will be severe on them.
As well as welcoming the news of the prosecutors' decision, Wu also hoped that the judge may be even harder on them in handing down a sentence, in justice to the public and to prevent any other similar fake statins entering the market. The FDA also said that from July, three categories of pharma products: blood preparations, vaccines and botulinum toxin, would be included in the pharma tracing system, so that if there are problems in the future the downstream paths can be traced easily.
==CHIH LAN-HUI FDA Medicinal Prods. Div.==
Pharma businesses are not only manufacturing representatives but also distributors. We need to manage the whole process from the start of manufacturing to sales and distribution.
The FDA emphasized that in recent years, it has had worrying samples for testing from the customs, inspectors and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Illegal pharma products were mainly capsules or powder based and many were mixed into tea or coffee bags. Recently they had found three types of clozapine, which is used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, used as a sleeping drug. It reminds the public to be careful about taking drinks from strangers as these could be dangerous.
TRANSLATED BY：CLARE LEAR
記者 賴淑敏 蔣龍祥 台北報導