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Report uncovers unlicensed stores selling smuggled, fake over-the-counter drugs

Posted: 04/8/2014 7:44 pm

Residents of Guangzhou that are concerned about the food they are eating may also want to start paying attention to the over the counter medication they are taking.

A report by Nandu has delved into the grey morass that are stores in Guangzhou that are selling popular Hong Kong medicines and products, but are going outside established guidelines. Their report detailed three main discrepancies that suggest something sinister is going on with the selling of these products:

Price discrepancies: Popular medical products that can’t be found in convenience stores have found a niche in “Hong Kong import stores” in which goods said to be imported line the shelves. However, prices for Wood Lock Medicated Balm (黄道益活络油) can range wildly in price from 30 to 50 yuan. A store named “Huimei” is selling the balm for 38 yuan, while it’s competitor is selling it for 58 yuan. Another popular product called Bo Ying Compound (余仁生保婴丹) normally costs 82 yuan in convenience stores, but can reach prices of 108 yuan, making a difference of about 26 yuan

No certification: All stores in China need a certificate of authorization to sell such medical products, something that many of these “Hong Kong import stores” lack. When confronted with such a question, one store manager responded with:

The drugs we sell aren’t western drugs; those require a prescription. Chinese prepared medicine are those that can be taken by anyone. This is the reason why we don’t need a certificate.

Source of goods unknown: Details point to these goods being either smuggled or counterfeit, a point proven to be the latter in two recent cases uncovered by authorities in Zhuhai.

Consumers looking to stay away from buying smuggled or counterfeit goods should make purchases from licensed stores selling goods at fixed prices.

Photo: Nandu

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