Posted on August 19th, 2009
A new law which was just signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo grants the Bureau of Food and Drugs more regulatory muscle and at the same timeÂ renaming the agency into the Food and Drug Administration.
The Republic Act 9711 was signed into law on Tuesday by President Arroyo. RA 9711 or the Foods and Drugs Administration Act of 2009 aims to boost the regulatory capacity of the FDA by mandating the establishment of adequate testing laboratories and field offices, and at the same time upgrading its equipment and personnel, and authorizing the agency to retain income.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the law, in essence, complements the Cheaper Medicines Law. â€œThis is a dream come true. This has been the missing link in so far as the delivery and provision of quality medicines and health products is concerned,â€ Duque said to the reporters after the signing of the law.
The strength of the RA 9711, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill 2645 and House Bill 3293, lies in the creation of a separate center for every major product category to regulate efficiently the manufacture, importation, export, distribution, and sale, among others, of any product, according to the health secretary.
Because of this, Duque said there will be a center for drug regulation and research; a center for food regulation and research; center for cosmetics regulation and research, and center for device regulation, radiation, health and research.
He added, â€œThe products under these different centers will be regulated by the FDA in terms of their importation, exports, manufacturing, distribution, advertising, marketing, and all the processes in the manufacture of these products.â€
Modern and complete testing laboratory facilities will also be set-up in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao upon the mandate of the new law. This would allow local registration of products, apart from the existing laboratory at the FDAâ€™s laboratory office.