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China exports drug ingredients to customers in 150 countries

"Sometimes you can just have your lunch on the floor of the factory because it's so clean and so perfect, sometimes much better than in Europe," said Jean-François Quarre, a French drug company official.

But Quarre cautioned that he has seen the other side as well. "It's frightening." At their worst, uncertified chemical companies contribute to China's notoriety as the world's biggest supplier of counterfeit drugs, which include unauthorized copies as well as substandard, even harmful, formulations.

This article, picked up by a number of press outlets presents the difficulties surrounding surity of active precursor ingredients (APIs, industrial chemicals) which are used as inputs for processes involved in the manufacture of pharamaceuticals and drugs for human consumption.

Reference this copy posted by the International Herald Tribune

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