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FDA Needs More Oversight Power To Protect Increasingly Globalized Drug Supply, Pew Report Says

“The Food and Drug Administration needs much more power to protect the U.S. supply of drugs as more and more are made in other countries,” according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Health Group, National Journal reports. The FDA estimates about 80 percent of the active ingredients in medications and up to 40 percent of finished pharmaceuticals are manufactured abroad, often in developing countries with little to no regulatory oversight, the news service adds.

“FDA has increased inspections in the United States and abroad, and in June the agency announced a global strategy to ensure safety of imported products,” but “it doesn’t have the regulatory power to recall drugs, nor does it have a large presence in other countries where products are exported,” National Journal writes. “In addition to recommending stricter legislation and more international oversight, the Pew report also recommended pharmaceutical companies do more to regulate themselves,” according to the news service (Fung, 7/13).