With global consumer confidence in China plunging to lows never seen before, the nation's drug watchdog has promised to investigate the latest fake pill scandal which, allegedly with Chinese roots, ended up being prescribed to patients at the British National Health Service (NHS).
"We will conduct relevant investigations and will surely punish companies or individuals who manufacture fake pharmaceuticals for export," Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman with State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), said on Wednesday.
"If we find any clues of illegal medicine production for export, we will track them down," Xinhua quoted the spokeswoman, as saying.
Earlier, The Guardian newspaper reported on January 4 that "counterfeiting gangs based in China" produced some eight million fake pills which went to NHS patients last year.
Chinese police authorities recently traveled to London to discuss the growing problem, The Guardian said.
Yan reiterated China's resolution to crackdown on importing or exporting fake medicines. She emphasized that the government adopted international principles and practices to regulate the issue.
According to Chinese laws, medicine exporters should acquire government-issued certificates to run their business. Exported pills should be accompanied by permission papers for sales in accordance with requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The spokeswoman said foreign pharmaceutical traders should cooperate with certified Chinese partners to ensure qualified and safe medicines.