Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing their agreement to further strengthen cooperation between the two government agencies. Both agencies are responsible for regulating drugs and health-related products to protect public health and safety in their respective countries.
On September 12, 2003, representatives of the two agencies signed the MOU at the HSA Building in Singapore. Dr. Tan Chor Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, commented, “There is no doubt that by working closely with our overseas strategic partners in our regulatory work, which is based on a risk management approach, our ability to closely manage the risk associated with the products we regulate will be greatly improved. We are confident that the MOU will create the best opportunities for the HSA and the SFDA to ensure good health outcomes.”
As a result of the MOU, information and expertise will be exchanged between the HSA and the SFDA on a number of medical products including Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM), chemical drugs, biological products, and medical devices. The MOU will also begin the formation of a joint Committee of Coordination and Liaison which will facilitate bilateral exchanges between the two countries. The Committee will also be able to form work groups for various areas of cooperation.
The first work group to be formed through the signing of the MOU will address common technical requirements on the safety and quality of TCMs. Through the work groups, both government agencies will be able to access information on the control of raw herbs and finished products, adverse drug reaction monitoring and reporting, and enforcement of illegal TCM activities.