Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has introduced a national campaign against the production of fake pharmacy products, supplementary foods and cosmetics.

Deputy PM Phuc is the chairman of the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods.

The committee has ordered ministries, Government agencies and local authorities in border areas to intensify patrol and inspection activities on land and sea to prevent contraband from entering the country.

Market-watch forces were told to strengthen inspection of pharmaceutical products, supplementary foods and cosmetics with an emphasis on quality, especially in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City.

Stricter penalties will be imposed on stores and retailers committing violations and trade fraud.

The committee ordered police to step up efforts to fight criminals behind the production and sales of fake pharmaceutical products.

Chairmen of local People's Committees and chiefs of Government bureaus involved in the anti-counterfeiting campaign will be held accountable before the Prime Minister for efforts in their localities.

The Ministry of Health was instructed to tighten control and supervision over the use of business licences and quality certificates.

The committee also ordered the health ministry to establish a shared database of business licences and quality certificates to assist other Government agencies.

Recent incidents involved large-scale, organised production and sales of counterfeit drugs raised public concern about the products.

On January 24, Hanoi Police found more than 10 tonnes of counterfeit supplementary foods, including thousands of packages labelled with copies of well-known brands.

Police also found five other warehouses and three workshops involved in the mass production of numerous other counterfeit goods, mainly supplementary foods.

On June 5, Hanoi Police discovered nearly 20 tonnes of supplementary foods in a storage unit of VQTech Investment and Chemical JSC., which was later confirmed to be copies of a foreign royal jelly brand.

VQTech's Director Tran Nhu Quynh said he had been producing and selling contraband since October, 2014. He said he bought the labels separately and put them on his products.

On July 9, HCM City authority and the General Department of Customs found thousands of cosmetic bottles without labels at four different workshops in District 1 and Binh Chanh district.

Thousands of packages of labels imitating well-known skincare, whitening creams and weight-loss products were also discovered.

The ringleaders admitted the bottles were smuggled across the Chinese border while the labels were printed in HCM City.-VNA