|British firm GSK’s cold medicine detected in narcotics haul
Some crystal methamphetamine seized in a huge drug bust in a Guangdong village used the popular cold medicine Contac, manufactured by beleaguered British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, state media reported.
The raid announced last week, netted three tonnes of “crystal meth,’’ in Lufeng city, said to account for one-third of China's production of the drug.
Some makers extracted pseudoephedrine from Contac, even employing students to empty the powder from the capsules, the Global Times newspaper reported.
GSK is already under scrutiny over an alleged bribery case and four executives of the British company were detained last year.
GSK did not confirm the media report, but said it was concerned about any illegal use of its medicines.
“As a responsible manufacturer, GSK is very concerned about any criminal activities which divert the use of our medicines for illicit purposes, and [we] vow to work with the appropriate authorities to ensure that we play our part in eradicating this criminal activity,'' it said in a statement provided to AFP.
Regulations require customers' names and identity card numbers to be registered before they can buy the medicine, sold under the name Contac NT in China, and put limits on the amount that can be purchased, the statement said. A higher strength form requires a doctor's prescription.
Paramilitary troops and police officers used helicopters and speedboats and detected 23 tonnes of raw materials. Also 200 suspects from 18 drug rings were arrested.