India Protests Fake Chinese Drugs Labeled “Made in India”

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Jun. 9 – New Delhi has lodged a protest to the Chinese mission in Nigeria and China’s foreign trade ministry because of a large seizure of fake anti-malarial generic pharmaceuticals labeled “Made in India” were actually found to have been produced in China

The findings were reported by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria in a press release.

India’s Commerce Ministry sources told The Times of India: “We have had many complaints about such fake drugs from China being offloaded as Indian drugs in countries like Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast and West Africa — in general, where India has a substantial market share. But so far there has been no formal complaint. This is the first time that such a large international consignment has been seized and this will be taken up strongly with the Chinese side.”

Since the Nigerian pharmaceutical market prefers generic drugs, cases like the latter are not rare although the NAFDAC is making the effort to curtail the circulation of substandard fake medicines. A majority of drugs available in Nigeria are imported.

In Nigeria and Africa in general, India and China have been cited as the primary sources of fake drugs. From 2001 to 2007, over 30 Chinese and Indian companies were caught and banned from exporting fake drugs to Nigeria.

Dr. Mira Shiva of the Initiative for Health Equity and Society told The Times of India that since India and China are large manufacturers of generics, multinational firms would look to discredit the two countries and label their drugs as substandard, so that they would have greater access to the African markets.