The Being-based State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has been paying people who report illegal drug production and distribution since 2003, however the previous reward limit was set at 50,000 Yuan.
The agency announced the increase earlier this week, explaining that it is designed to “encourage the public to report illegal activities so as to discover, control and eliminate potential safety risks concerning food and drugs.”
Under the joint SFDA and Chinese Ministry of Finance scheme – details of which are available on the Chinese version of the regulator’s website - rewards will be paid for reports of illegal drug production that can be verified by the agency.
China’s Xinhua State news agency explained that: “Depending on the accuracy of information provided and intensity of a whistleblower's engagement in the investigation of relevant cases, the organization or individual behind a tip-off could receive 1 to 6 per cent of the value of the food or medicine involved as a reward, according to the circular.”
The SFDA also warned that those who make false accusations to try and fraudulently claim the reward will be held accountable, but did not provide additional information when contacted by in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
The reward scheme is one of a number of recent SFDA efforts to clamp down on illegal activities related to drug production and distribution.
Last summer, for example, the agency has issued new quality guide lines for excipient manufacturers after discovering that a number of manufacturers had been using gelatine derived from leather waste – rather than food-grade gelatine – in drug capsule production.
In August, the SFDA announced that it would publish a list of companies and individuals that violated drug and medical device manufacturing laws on its website and – in September – launched an investigation of a firm accused of using waste cooking in the production of antibiotics.
And in the last few weeks the SFDA has also clamped down on a number of illegal China-based internet pharmacies accused of selling fake drug products and ingredients.