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Charges over fake drug scandal

THIRTEEN suspects were charged by Luwan District Prosecutors' Office with producing and selling a fake drug that caused eye infections in 61 patients at the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital, officials announced ahead of the World Intellectual Property Day today. Officials didn't disclose details of the suspects, other than saying one is surnamed Wu. The affected patients were among 116 people who received the fake medicine on September 6 and 8 last year. After the injections, they reported eye inflammations and poor vision and received treatment at Shanghai No.1 People's Hospital. It had been thought the drug was Avastin, a cancer drug made by global pharmaceutical giant Roche. Avastin is believed to have an effect on eye condition macular degeneration, although domestic drug authorities have not approved it for this use. Meanwhile property rights watchdogs are targeting bazaars that spring up for short periods in shopping malls and hotels. Officials said yesterday that they have found that some bazaars are selling fake products. The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said the inspection on bazaars will cover shopping areas and big hotels. The bureau started by investigating a bazaar in Cloud Nine Shopping Mall in Changning District after consumers complained that fake products were on offer. "The fake goods have been removed and we are questioning the vendors," said Chen Xuejun, deputy director of the bureau. The bureau said such bazaars are common in the city. Organizers rent space, usually in big shopping mall or in a hotel, for one or two months. Vendors can offer their wares as long as they hold a business license and stock certificate. Up to this month from late last year, the commercial and industrial bureau raided 59 outlets selling fake products, confiscating more than 257,900 pieces of fake goods. Some 50 people were detained, officials said. The bureau said it is also focusing on e-commerce websites, although it is harder to tackle online fake sellers. "We will strengthen! inspect ions of websites as we are receiving more and more complaints," said Chen. Yesterday six people received jail sentences ranging from six months to three years at Xuhui District People's Court for selling fake garments and watches on websites or in stores. They received fines of 20,000 yuan (US$2,985) to 100,000 yuan.

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