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China Arrests 2000 in Fake Meds Bust

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Here's an interesting postscript to our story on fake malaria meds: a report out of Beijing this morning says Chinese officials have rounded up 2000 people it says are involved in the fake pharmaceuticals racket. Rob Schmitz at Marketplace reported a few hours ago that the arrests involved members of "two dozen crime organizations involved in making nearly $200 million worth of drugs." However, he also quotes a Chinese observer noting that these sorts of round-ups may be more PR than police work.

The general tone of the report squares with what we found in our look at the problem—that criminal syndicates, not mainline Chinese pharma outfits, are the key source of the counterfeit drugs. The new report doesn't mention if the Chinese bust included malaria meds.