FDA issues advisory on sale of unregistered drug Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021   •   942

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised the public against the sale and distribution of unregistered drug Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang with Chinese characters.

In its advisory, the FDA said there is still an “incessant sale and distribution” of the product, which were verified as unregistered.

 “As per continuing surveillance, there is still an incessant sale and distribution even through social media platforms, such as Facebook, of Lianhuan Qingwen Jiaonang with Chinese characters, which were verified as unregistered by the FDA,” the agency said.

The FDA added that only the Lianhuan Qingwen Jiaonang with English text and details provided in the advisory was issued with a certificate of product registration and approved to be sold/marketed in the Philippines.

“The agency cannot guarantee the quality and safety of the product with the Chinese text due to these have not undergone evaluation by the FDA and these came from unlicensed sources or establishments. The consumption of such violative product may pose potential danger or injury if administered,” it said.

Lianhuan Qingwen Jiaonang is a traditional Chinese drug that some people believe can cure COVID-19, but health experts said this drug should only be taken with a doctor’s prescription.

“All concerned establishments and/or entities are warned not to distribute the above-identified violative drug product, otherwise regulatory actions and sanctions shall be strictly pursued,” the FDA said.

Under the country’s Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, the manufacture, importation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship of health products without proper authorization from the FDA is prohibited.

Show-cause order issued to FDA drug center for alleged inaction on over 600 applications

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has issued a show-cause order to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Drug Regulation and Research (CDRR) for allegedly not acting on over 600 drug applications despite having complete requirements.

The order, sent on Tuesday (May 11) by ARTA Investigation Enforcement and Litigation Director Jedrek Ng, directs FDA-CDRR Director IV Jesusa Cirunay  to “explain why no administrative or criminal case should be filed” against her over delays in applications of various pharmaceutical companies filed as far back as 2014 or so.

“Pag titingnan po ito ang mga applications na ‘to di ito kumplikado. Ito yung mga aplikasyong for automatic renewal. Ito ay mga produkto na dati nang ginagamit at ngayon ay gusto lang i-register o yung iba naman ay low to no risk sa taumbayan,” ARTA director general Jeremiah Belgica said.

“Di namin maintidihan kung bakit ito ay naiipit at ito ay palagi na nangyayari diyan sa FDA particularly sa Center for Drugs. Ito ay mga aplikasyon na pwedeng aprubahan ng center director,” he added.

Cirunay is given seven working days from receipt of the order to conduct an inventory of all pending permit, license, clearance or application; immediately release all said applications which have been pending beyond the prescribed processing time.

Also, she is directed to submit to ARTA a compliance report with a list of all permits, licenses, clearances or applications issued pursuant to the show cause order.

If Cirunay fails to comply, ARTA will resort to the filing of formal charges against her in accordance with Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery law before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Belgica also urged Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and FDA Director General Eric Domingo to remove, if necessary, their erring officials and personnel.

Evaluation of EUA application for Sinopharm vax may be completed in less than 21 days – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The evaluation process for the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine will not take long before it can be granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.

FDA director-general Eric Domingo said the Sinopharm vaccine has already been included in the emergency use listing (EUL) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and access to its documents, including inspection reports from the WHO will be faster.

“Useful yung kanyang Emergency Use Listing sa WHO kasi before this, wala pa siyang EUA from a stringent regulatory authority katulad ng mga USFDA ganyan or Europe, Japan… hindi pa siya listed sa mga iyon. Pero yung WHO na emergency use listing that’s equivalent to a stringent regulatory authority,” he said.

“Ang maganda sa WHO kasi very transparent ang documents nyan. Available din siya sa FDA. Lahat ng ni-review nila, maaari naming ma-access kaya hindi tayo masyado mahihirapan sa paghingi ng information,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said it has started the process of applying for EUA, pending documents about the vaccine product.

The FDA said the process may take less than 21 days once the DOH completes the application process.

“Kapag ganyan na merong WHO EUL, mas mapapabilis iyan. Nakakaya natin iyan usually less than 21 days,” Domingo said.

The FDA also echoed the DOH’s earlier statement that there are no irregularities with the government’s move to file an EUA for a Chinese-made vaccine since they also applied for the EUA of other COVID-19 vaccine brands, such as Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer, in order for these vaccines to be delivered to the country.

“Talagang nasa batas and it’s a worldwide practice,” he said. “Based on WHO guidelines, posible naman na gobyerno gusto bumili ng bakuna na walang local manufacturer or representative dito. In those cases, the government itself can get EUA.”

“Hindi naman conflict yun dahil ang EUA ay hindi naman product registration o marketing authorization lang, talagang for emergency use lang ang mga bakuna,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DOH studying possibility of mixing vaccine brands – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is currently looking into the possibility of mixing different brands of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

FDA director general Eric Domingo said the DOH is already drafting a set of guidelines that will allow a person to receive different brands of COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses in case of severe allergic reaction and other adverse effects.

Aaralin po ngayon yan ng Department of Health, in fact, meron naman po talagang ongoing meetings ang Department of Health on that dahil meron po talagang instances na for example naturukan ka ng bakuna ng first dose tapos nagka-severe allergy ka so hindi ka na puwede sa second dose nun at kailangang isipin ngayon yung magiging alternative,” Domingo said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Gumagawa na ng guidelines ngayon ang DOH kung paano ‘yung interchangeability or mixing ng vaccines in case the second dose cannot be given na identical doon sa first dose,” he added.

Domingo said this after President Rodrigo Duterte said he has requested China to recall the 1,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines it donated following criticisms over his decision to receive a jab that has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Duterte received his first dose of Sinopharm vaccine on Monday night.

Malacañang earlier said that the vaccine dose used on the president was covered by the compassionate special permit issued by the FDA for the Presidential Security Group.

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