Media an 'accomplice' in fake medicines sales

Beijing (China Daily/ANN) - Prosecutors said that the media and the Internet have become "accomplices" in the sale of fake medicines in China, the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Friday.

Many gangs that produce and sell fake medicines have taken advantage of the media, including television and newspapers, to defraud customers by fabricating and exaggerating the effects of the medicines, according to a report published by the prosecuting authority in Xicheng district of Beijing.

For example, a suspect surnamed Xu advertised fake medicines on television, using people who pretended to be experts to lie about the effects, the prosecutors' report said.

Meanwhile the fast development of online shopping has seen the Internet become a hotbed of fake medicine sales, according to Kang Chen, a prosecutor with the authority, who was quoted in the Beijing Youth Daily.

Kang said there are three main ways that customers are cheated online.

"Some use overseas servers to establish websites to sell fake medicines, some lure netizens to click on their advertisement by using a virus or pop-ups. Meanwhile, some conceal their true identities by delivering fake products by post," Kang told the paper. He added that this has made it difficult for law enforcement departments to identify the wrongdoers and the sources of fake medicine.

The prosecutor also suggested that residents should learn to distinguish real medicines from fakes and should be more skeptical about the claims made in the media, according to the report.

"Illegal businessmen often invent the names of the medicines and 'authorized' medical institutes on their websites, claiming that their headquarters are in big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, but actually most of them are fictitious," Kang told the paper.

In a recent campaign launched by the Haidian district branch of the Beijing Drug Administration, 1,042 boxes of fake medicine were confiscated, 50 cases were sent to the prosecuting authorities and 42 people were detained by police.

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