Home > Chinese Anti-India schemes, Socio-specific > China producing fake drugs under the label "Made in India"

China producing fake drugs under the label "Made in India"

The Chinese have long been a menace that has been left unattended! This time around, I’m not talking about their complicity with terrorist organizations operating in North-Eastern India, or their repeated attempts to violate the International border, which has been on the rise for some time now.

I’m talking about their new weapon in the Anti-India arsenal which involves manufacturing and marketing fake pharmaceutical drugs under the “Made in India” label. This is truly appalling and comes as a rude shock to the Indian nation in general and Indian pharmaceutical companies in particular who strive very hard to manufacture medication drugs after painstakingly slow and expensive research processes that eat into a major share of their profit margins.

Although Indian agencies have long known that this the Chinese were involved in such practice, valuable evidence to prove this was not easily forthcoming, until early last week, when the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria issued a press release stating that a large consignment of fake anti-malarial generic pharmaceuticals labeled ‘Made in India’ were, in fact, found to have been produced in China. It is extremely unlikely that Nigeria alone is a recipient of such fake pharmaceutical material or that this incident is isolated. This incident throws light upon a well planned scheme of operations orchestrated by China to undermine India in every possible angle, economic front included.

It is very interesting to note that this is not China’s first brush with counterfeit pharmaceutical material. Early this year, Guardian reported on growing health fears on account of fake Chinese drugs extensively being available in Britain. According to the report, an estimated 8 million pieces of such fake drugs found their way into the National Health Service (NHS). British border officials seized more than half a million counterfeit pills destined for the NHS and high-street chemists last year, an amount equal to the quantity of counterfeit drugs found in the whole of Europe in 2005.  Fake life-saving medicines for ailments such as heart disease and cancer, worth more than £3 million were intercepted by customs officials and the Home Office border agency in the first 10 months of 2008. Of these, three consignments alone were each larger than 100,000 pills.

The size of the problem facing the NHS is now so alarming that Interpol’s secretary-general, Ronald Noble, opened an anti-counterfeiting conference in Africa recently by admitting to being “shocked” at discovering that fake drugs were more deadly than terrorism. Forty years of terrorism, he said, had killed 65,000 people, compared with 200,000 in one year alone in China from counterfeit medicines.

It is apparent that China does not worry about its own reputation being tarnished beyond repair in such acts, as was seen in 2007 when it came to light that the former head of China’s Food and Drug Administration was found guilty of taking bribes to license fake drugs. The fact is that the counterfeit drug market in China is very strong and well organized apart from being safeguarded and aided by the state machinery itself, whose devious agenda was clearly seen in Nigeria last week following the haul of fake drugs.

India needs to reflect seriously on what lessons can be drawn from such cases and should urgently step up efforts in food and drug supervision and monitoring, aimed at uncovering more Chinese-sponsored malaise. Chinese officials will continue to live in denial and contest every claim made by the international media, while shamelessly aiding to such unscrupulous practices with the singular objective of maligning India’s reputation and standing in the international community.

Fake foreign-made generics carrying ‘Made in India’ label can do tremendous harm to our interests. It not only dents our image and takes our legitimate market share, it also erodes the distinction between generic and fake medicines that we have been campaigning for at WHO and WTO, as stated in a letter by India’s High Commissioner in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, Mahesh Sachdev, written to then commerce secretary GSK Pillai.

New Delhi’s protests to China on this issue will most certainly fall on deaf ears and will be dismissed as a cunningly crafted ploy to blemish the latter’s reputation. Therefore, India needs to build a very strong case against China while coordinating with intellgence sources of Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and West Africa, they being large markets of Indian pharmaceutical products. Information so gathered needs to be presented to international bodies of commerce, crime and pharmacology to invite stringent sanctions on China so as to deter this hideously red nation from engaging in such sordid anti-India schemes.

  1. June 9, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Well this was definitely news to me. And it is deeply troubling. China for long has played a double standards game with us. We need to formulate a strategy where work by rogue nations doesn’t jeopardize our reputation especially when it comes to business. This requires complex and deft political maneuvering. I hope our leaders are up to the task.

  2. June 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    This is more than just a ploy to earn quick money…. they might not even need this money but they will do it.. to ruin the name… the military of china..the rulers are showing great example o long term domination plans…every other day… I cannot help but commend on their excellent strategy of undermining any threats … using anyway possible..but tat the same time as a indian i feel greatly disturbed… even more so by the spoilt name of my nation rather than just the number of deaths.. i am sorry i am being blunt.. but thats the way it is..

    People sumtimes do not like to believe that conspiracies like these are happening..but they do… we have talked about all this also… Indians need to have leaders…or a change in thinking in general… about the long term… which is absent here… going in a quick venture for quick buck still rules the roost here…

    We cannot imagiane ourt leaders thinking like chinese… buying hotels in nepal and naming them shanghai grand…cultural domination… makes the public swing their way believe it or not… or the race for minerals in africa… or buying up all the ports in united states… ! not to mention huge credit to their economy…

    This is already out of hand…

  3. June 10, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Ajai –

    China has been engaging in the manufacturing and marketing of fake drugs for a long time now. Doing so under the Made in India label is also something that they have been scheming for sometime now.

    Like you said, it is important for India to counter these dirty games played by China in order to save our reputation and standing in the International market.

    However, enacting such countermeasures and the political will to do so are quite different from one another!

    Thanks for your visit and comments!


  4. June 10, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Samby –

    Yes, while they absolutely do not need the money from such operations, they profit heavily from the damage such actions do to the Indian nation and the industry, which has been the objective always!

    We have long witnessed how China can be very systematic and relentless in their anti-India campaign, like some instances that you have mentioned.

    However, the Indian political establishment has always chosen to downplay such incidents in the name of bilateral relations and so on!

    Like I told Ajai in my previous comment, enacting strong countermeasures and the political will to do so are quite different from one another!

    Thanks, as always for your comments!


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