Faked fakey medicine: Counterfeit Traditional Chinese meds

The use of Traditional Chinese medicine is growing, spending was up 20% last year in China. There are serious problems with quality and safety.

Traditional Chinese medicine sector plagued by counterfeits|WantChinaTimes.com.

Chinese companies in the traditional herbal medicine sector are facing serious problems with counterfeit drugs, with several counterfeiters forging documents and packaging that makes it difficult to distinguish from fake products.

As with other products, fillers are used to increase the volume or tested quality of the products. (Remember melamine in baby formula and pet foods?)

Counterfeiters can produce fake medicinal herbs with starch and gypsum powder, or mix dirt or dust with the herbs to increase their weight.

Taiwan has noticed but for those that can still access the product through direct or internet purchases, it’s just another in a long list of incidents that show that TCM is truly crap medicine that can not be trusted.

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  8 comments for “Faked fakey medicine: Counterfeit Traditional Chinese meds

  1. March 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    I wonder if testing of the stuff was lax because they just knew it was fake.

  2. One Eyed Jack
    March 25, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    This industry is full of both large companies and people mixing stuff in their garages. I worked for 8 years with a company that sold commercial enzymes. 20% of our business was selling concentrates or custom blends to supplement companies.

    Testing was virtually non-existent at the final product stage. Products are frequently “blended to contain”. Certificates of Analysis are produced based on calculations from ingredient formulations. Most companies could not test the final product even if they wanted to as they lack the equipment and knowledge to do so.

    All of this is secondary to the fact that the only thing 99.9% of these products do is produce expensive urine. I give the 0.1% due to a few valid products like Beano and Lactaid that are scientifically sound and tested.

  3. David J
    March 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Over the years many herbal skin remedies prescribed in the UK by some Chinese medical practitioners have been shown to work – well not surprising considering that they contain Betamethasone of some sort (aka Betnovate, Diprosone, Diprolene, Celestamine).

    Overuse of which thins the skin and any use of which will aggravate infections.

  4. Chris Howard
    March 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    So people are making bogus, knock-off, snake-oil, in an attempt at replicating bogus snake-oil?

    I’d say they’ve succeeded.

    I think the awkward silence about this from the TCM community speaks volumes about their character.

    “We should really do something about these, potentially, dangerous knock-offs! They might seriously harm people! Not to mention they probably have no therapeutic value… Oh, wait? On second thought…”

  5. Lester Ness
    March 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Most medical people in PR China are trained in western style medicine but are introduced to the basics of TCM as well. Most doctors will examine you western-style (with stethoscope, etc) but the meds they prescribe will mainly be Chinese herbal preparations. Western meds are also widely available but are FAR more expensive and don’t seem to work better.

  6. Lester Ness
    March 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    “I think the awkward silence about this from the TCM community speaks volumes about their character. ”

    You can be sure that most of the TCM community lives in PR China, does not read English or Doubtful News, and does not care what foreigners think anyway.

  7. One Eyed Jack
    March 28, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    ” Western meds are also widely available but are FAR more expensive and don’t seem to work better.”

    I call BS. You need to back that statement up with some evidence. The cost I agree with, but I don’t believe TCM works as well as modern medicine.

  8. Lester Ness
    March 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    One Eyed Jack on March 28, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    “I call BS. You need to back that statement up with some evidence. The cost I agree with, but I don’t believe TCM works as well as modern medicine.”

    I’m not making a scientific statement, Jack; I’m saying what ordinary people think, even ordinary medical people. My evidence: participant-oberservation. In other words, I teach English in China and sometimes visit hospitals.

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