New amend­ments to drug law can re­store peo­ple’s faith in vac­cines

China Daily (Canada) - - SPORTS -

re­viewed the draft amend­ment of the Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion Law on Mon­day, in which six clauses on vac­cines have been added. Bei­jing Youth Daily com­ments:

In the cur­rent Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion Law, “vac­cines” only ap­pears once in the clause defin­ing “medicines”, stat­ing “medicines in­clude vac­cines”. There are no spe­cific clauses in the ex­ist­ing law cov­er­ing vac­cines.

Although China has a spe­cial reg­u­la­tion on the cir­cu­la­tion and in­oc­u­la­tion of vac­cines, it lacks le­gal bind­ing force. And the ab­sence of le­gal clauses on mat­ters re­lated to vac­cines in the Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion Law has un­doubt­edly weak­ened the su­per­vi­sion over the sec­tor, as well as the law en­forcers’ power in deal­ing with vac­cine-re­lated crimes.

As the re­cent vac­cine scan­dal in Changchun, Jilin prov­ince, in­di­cates this has been taken ad­van­tage of by un­scrupu­lous busi­ness­peo­ple and cor­rupt of­fi­cials eager to seek kick­backs from the lu­cra­tive trade they are in charge of look­ing over.

It has thus been nec­es­sary for the top leg­is­la­ture to add the clauses — which cover al­most all as­pects of the vac­cine in­dus­try and mar­ket — to the law so

as to strengthen the su­per­vi­sion and rel­e­vant law en­force­ment ef­forts in the vac­cine mar­ket.

Vac­cines are a spe­cial type of medicine, the re­search, pro­duc­tion, cir­cu­la­tion and use of which must be sub­ject to strict le­gal re­quire­ments.

For in­stance, one clause in the draft clearly puts an end to sub-con­tract­ing pro­duc­tion of vac­cines, which is le­gal for many medicines if the pro­duc­ers are qual­i­fied. This di­rectly dis­tin­guishes vac­cines from other medicines in the pro­duc­tion chain. An­other clause stip­u­lates that there must be a trace sys­tem for vac­cines to lo­cate and hold ac­count­able any law­break­ers. The draft amend­ment also stip­u­lates tougher penal­ties for any­one vi­o­lat­ing the law.

The su­per­vi­sion over the vac­cine in­dus­try and en­force­ment of the re­vised law will need to be more strin­gent and scrupu­lous to en­sure it is im­ple­mented to the full to re­store peo­ple’s con­fi­dence in the safety of vac­cines.

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