In China, the government is vowing to clean up its pharmaceutical industry, in part because of criticism over counterfeit drugs flooding the world markets.
In December, two top drug regulators were arrested on charges of taking bribes to approve drugs. In addition, 440 counterfeiting operations were closed down last year, the World Health Organization said.
But when Chinese officials investigated the role of Chinese companies in the Panama deaths, they found that no laws had been broken, according to an official of the nation’s drug enforcement agency. China’s drug regulation is “a black hole,” said one trader who has done business through CNSC Fortune Way, the Beijing-based broker that investigators say was a crucial conduit for the Panama poison.