Duterte orders arrest of fake medicine makers, sellers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 28) ­— President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a crackdown on manufacturers and peddlers of fake medicine, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said on Wednesday.

Panelo said Duterte said distributors of fake medicine should be charged and arrested for its effect on government revenues, especially in the form of taxes. He said the President gave the instruction to Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday night.

"The President has ordered the Chief PNP to arrest all persons who manufacture, import, distribute, sell, administer, and dispense fake drugs. They will be charged with economic sabotage," Panelo said.

Aside from the negative economic impact, he said distributing fake medicine also endangers the health of the public.

'Those acts undermine — not only the economy because it will affect the law of supply of the demand, affect the prices — but it also threatens the security of the nation because it endangers the vast health of the people," he said.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned of fake paracetamol tablets circulating in the market. Taking fake medicine may cause potential danger or injury to consumers.