Taiwan drug regulator plans online database after drug recall spate

Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare has had enough after 46 recalls the past two weeks from 32 different pharmaceutical companies. MHW is taking its case to the cloud.

MHW Minister Chiang Been-huang

Testifying before a parliamentary committee about the problem, MHW Minister Chiang Been-huang said the ministry planned to establish an Internet database where drugmakers could store required information about the raw material they use in their medicines.

The Taiwan FDA's head of drug regulation Liu Li-ling said at the same hearing hospitals and factories would also store information on the "pharmaceutical cloud" system along with other similarly located databases related to approved drugs.

The two recalls involved inspections at 75 drug companies that found 32 with drugs containing improper grades of magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate instead of the pharmaceutical grade required.

The 46 drugs found were ordered pulled from the market, but FDA officials said enough substitute drugs were still available to meet demand, including those used in kidney dialysis. Pharmas were expected to compete quickly to supply the proper drugs, they said.

- here are stories from China Post and Focus Taiwan