FDA Introspection

FDA IntrospectionFDA Introspection

The primary task of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to monitor the pharmaceutical sector and ensure that there is no misconduct; now the FDA is taking measures to ensure its own probity as an overseeing enterprise that deals with an important aspect of people’s lives: health.

‘’The FDA is an overseeing body, which monitors the safety of food, drugs and hygiene products; therefore it should conduct its business in a way to ensure its own rectitude and transparency,’’ said its head Rasoul Dinarvand. He cited unjustified delays in issuing licenses and granting unlawful permits as instances of misconduct, ISNA reported.  

 Cyber Transparency    

Dinarvand said launching an official website to conduct its official duties electronically has been its landmark achievement in fighting organizational wrongdoing.  The website was launched this year and is still being developed. “Although it is a hard task to complete, it is worthwhile as it removes the need for clients to go to the agency in person, and hence the drop in corruption cases,’’ Dinarvand said. The website might take between 2 and 3 years to complete.

In the meanwhile, Dinarvand said a part of the FDA services is done electronically and only by offering all the services electronically “wrongdoing can be minimized.”

 Price Reduction

Citing their success, the FDA official pointed to the reduction in cost of medicines through the Health Reform Plan that took off on May 5 this year.

‘’Prior to the launch of the plan, 40% of the patients could not get medicines at the hospitals and had to turn elsewhere – where it cost them far more, but now this holds true for only 3% of the patients,’’ he said.

He said the agency has taken three major steps to lower medicine costs; the first was to sign a contract with insurance companies to reduce medication costs for terminally ill patients. Under the contract, 300 drugs receive special insurance coverage with $366 million paid to insurance companies.

The other initiatives, he said, was to prevent increase in the price of domestically manufactured drugs in the first half of the current year (started March 21). Dinarvand said it will also include 200 imported drugs for terminal illnesses at a 26% cut in price and this has kicked off in the second half of the year.

There is still a 3% drug-related offense in hospitals. This is due to non-availability of certain medicines and the doctors prescribe them from outside the hospital, he said. ‘’ Some drugs are not simply on the list of hospitals and some doctors violate the rules by secretly prescribing them,’’ he added.