Promises of higher salaries and greater freedom at work are luring officials from China’s high-profile drugs watchdog to the companies they had regulated, a blow just as the country looks to tighten oversight and drive innovation. China wants to crack down on substandard drugs and healthcare as it seeks to produce more of the drugs consumed in the country and to build up its pharmaceutical exports. But in the past two months alone, high-profile scandals concerning a criminal vaccine ring and experimental cancer treatments have exposed problems. Current and former officials at the CFDA told Reuters the staffing issues are hampering its ability to police the world’s second-largest drugs market, including the monitoring and testing of new medicines.
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