New mon­i­tor­ing rules will help fight drug short­ages

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - ByWANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­

China will im­prove the mon­i­tor­ing of drugs that are prone to short sup­ply to en­sure they can be re­plen­ished quickly, ac­cord­ing to a new­na­tional guide­line.

The guide­line’s drug reg­u­la­tions are aimed at ad­dress­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the pro­duc­tion and cir­cu­la­tion of drugs and im­prov­ing the qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency of drugs, Wang Hesh­eng, vicem­i­nis­ter of the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, said on Wed­nes­day.

The guide­line was drafted by the State Coun­cil’s Health Re­form Of­fice and the China Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Wang said the guide­line has been ap­proved and will be re­leased soon.

He said that un­der the guide­line, au­thor­i­ties will take var­i­ous steps, such as im­prov­ing over­sight of the pro­duc­tion of drugs and ex­pe­dit­ing ap­proval of new drugs, to im­prove the qual­ity of drugs avail­able for use.

The guide­line also em­pha­sizes stream­lin­ing the cir­cu­la­tion of drugs be­tween phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and hos­pi­tals to re­duce the price of drugs and con­trol the in­crease of drug ex­pen­di­tures, Wang said.

Pe­ri­odic re­ports of short sup­plies of com­monly used drugs, in­clud­ing es­sen­tial drugs, in­many parts ofChina have stirred pub­lic at­ten­tion in re­cent years.

Pro­tamine sul­fate, an in­jec­tion nec­es­sary for some op­er­a­tions in­clud­ing heart surg­eries, was re­ported by me­dia in April to be in short sup­ply in many ar­eas of China, forc­ing many hos­pi­tals to tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend heart surg­eries.

The Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion re­sponded in May that phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies in China had sus­pended pro­duc­tion of the drug at the end of 2015 due to new stan­dards re­leased by health au­thor­i­ties, caus­ing a short­age.

It took mea­sures to en­cour­age pro­duc­tion of the drug so it could be quickly sup­plied to the mar­ket again, the com­mis­sion said in it­sMay state­ment.

WuZhen, head of theChina Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said on Wed­nes­day that many drugs in short sup­ply are es­pe­cially for chil­dren.

GuoXiang, deputy di­rec­tor of con­sumer goods at the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, said the min­istry has se­lected seven kinds of drugs for chil­dren’s use and has au­tho­rized phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies since last year to pro­duce them to en­sure the needed sup­ply.

The min­istry in­vested 80 mil­lion yuan last year to help in­crease the sup­ply of drugs for chil­dren’s use, he said.

Fu Mingzhong, ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent of the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Com­merce, said a na­tional data plat­form on the mon­i­tor­ing of drugs should be es­tab­lished to ad­dress the short­age of drugs in China.

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