China ups bounty for tips on counterfeiters to $48,500

China has upped its bounty on counterfeiters.

In yet another effort to get a handle on illegal drug manufacturing, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) says it will now pay 300,000 yuan ($48,250) for information that helps it catch offenders, reports in-PharmaTechnologist. That is up from the 50,000 yuan ($8,000) it had been paying.

The SFDA said it wanted to "encourage the public to report illegal activities so as to discover, control and eliminate potential safety risks concerning food and drugs." But it also warned that anyone making false claims would be held accountable.

China is often reported as the source of much of the counterfeit drugs discovered globally, and its regulators are considered ill-equipped to do much about it. Counterfeits of Roche's ($RHHBY) cancer drug Avastin that were discovered in the U.S. last year showed some indications that they originated in China. Some parts of China are reported to have thousands of illegal operations.

Regulators have made some more public moves against operations there in the last year. In one major display of action, 18,000 Chinese police officers rounded up nearly 2,000 drug-counterfeiting suspects and destroyed 1,100 production plants. Before that it recalled 13 drugs and said it was investigating 43 capsule manufacturers because their products were tainted with dangerous levels of chromium. The makers were using industrial-grade gel made from leather scraps instead of the required food-grade material. The SFDA has also started a blacklist of companies it believed to be making substandard drugs to wave off potential buyers.

- read the in-PharmaTechnologist story