After Crackdown on Counterfeits, a 'River of Pills'

Posted 27 April 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Regulatory Focus and other media outlets reported on 24 April about China's crackdown on counterfeit medications, which found dozens of manufacturing facilities using industrial-grade gelatin in pharmaceutical capsules. Now Chinese authorities have found something else that is perhaps even more surprising: a small river filled with millions of discarded drug capsules.

Gizmodo reports 300 meters of an open sewer ditch were transformed overnight into a "rainbow river," the victim of an illegal dumping operation involving millions of dyed capsules.

The water source, located in Zhengzhou, China, is reportedly not close to any pharmaceutical manufacturers, leading some to think an unknown lab may have gotten spooked after Chinese authorities started cracking down on manufacturers several weeks ago.

Reuters reported on 24 April that the Ministry of Public Security had arrested 9 people, detained another 45 and seized 77 million capsules laced with chromium-a heavy metal linked to cancer concerns. Those capsules were seized in the Zhejiang, Hebei and Jiangxi provinces of China.


Read more: (And see the stunning photos)

Gizmodo - Mysterious Rainbow River of Pills Appears In China

China Smack - 'Rainbow River': Unused Medicine Capsules Dumped in Henan Ditch

Regulatory Focus - China Probe Into Chromium-Laced Capsules Escalates, 77M Capsules Seized


Regulatory Focus newsletters

All the biggest regulatory news and happenings.

Subscribe