China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) is launching a nationwide probe into the quality of essential drugs to improve medicine safety, state media reported. The SFDA issued a notice Friday saying that it will spend two months investigating how drugs are produced and where materials are sourced, including investigating traditional Chinese medicines. At present there are 2,822 companies producing drugs for the government’s “essential drugs” list, which are covered by the government’s health insurance scheme. SFDA said it will carry out on-site investigations at production facilities. According to surveys, China’s most significant problems with drug safety are related to anti-infection drugs and traditional Chinese medicine. In 2010, China’s National Center for Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring received 692,904 reports of adverse reactions, up 8.4% year-on-year.