China's State Council, the central government, has warned local
governments against interfering with the law enforcement duties of
pharmaceutical administration departments.
A circular from the General Office of the State Council
instructed local governments to cooperate with drug watchdogs and
make safety a priority.
"Local governments have the ultimate responsibility for drug
safety in their jurisdictions ... and should regularly assess and
analyze the drug safety situation," the State Council said.
It also asked local governments to set up a "strict"
accountability system. "Leading officials should face
administrative discipline and prosecution if their negligence leads
to serious drug safety incidents."
China's pharmaceutical industry has become poor public image,
with the spread of fake and unsafe medicines and hospitals selling
unnecessary drugs to patients to pad out their income.
The the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), which has
come under criticism for failing in its duty, has promised to
tighten controls on pharmaceutical products.
From last August to February, the SFDA revoked the approval of
353 medicines, and 3,049 applications for new drugs were turned
The State Council said drug administrative departments should
continue to tighten control of the registration of new medicines
and improve supervision of the research, production, distribution
and usage of pharmaceutical products.
Drug administrative departments should perform their duties in
line with the law, maintain public trust and ensure safe and
effective pharmaceutical products are provided to the public, the
State Council said in the circular.
(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2007)