Bureaucracy slows FDA offices in China

Easy to announce you're opening offices in China. Not so easy to actually do it--especially when you're wrestling with Chinese red tape. That's what the FDA is discovering as it struggles to establish a presence in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Apparently, China's health ministry is expressing support for the new offices, which will employ 13 people. But the foreign ministry has yet to give the required stamp of approval. And once the office itself gets the OK, then the FDA workers will all need visas--yet another round of red tape.

Next on the FDA's list of overseas locations: India, according to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt. After that, its Central America. Good thing the Senate approved $275 million in additional funding for the agency last week.

- see the Wall Street Journal story

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