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China plans to improve drug safety

Increased monitoring and new credit system planned to improve safety levels of pharmaceutical products in country with troubled record

China has announced plans that attempt to improve safety levels of pharmaceutical products in the country.

As reported in the English language version of Xinhau, a news agency operated by the Chinese government, measures to improve drug safety in the country include increased monitoring of pharmaceutical companies and a new credit rating system.

Regulation of the pricing and circulation of medical products is also planned.

China has faced several problems over the past few years with regards to the safety of medicines.

Cough syrup produced in the country led to the deaths of 93 people in Central America while contaminated blood thinner caused dozens of deaths in the US, according to the Associated Press.

The Chinese State Council who approved the plans even admitted 'medicinal safety is in a high-risk stage' in the country.

The planned steps to improve the current state of affairs are to be carried out over the next four years, with all pharmaceutical products to meet the standards of a revised regulation on the quality management of medical products as of the end of 2015.

The capabilities of health organisations to inspect drugs and monitor adverse effects will also be strengthened.

The new safety measures will be important news as pharma companies look increasingly to China to expand their efforts.

According to PMGroup's Country Report: China, the market grew by 26 per cent in the country between 2008 and 2010, and just this week Merck announced plans to set up R&D locations in the country as part of a $1.5bn investment programme in the country over the next five years.

Other companies to have invested heavily in China in recent months include Novartis, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson, with the country tipped to overtake Japan as the world's second-largest market by 2015.

8th December 2011

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