Monday, July 14, 2008

The Challenges of Product Safety in a Global Market Place

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration recently spoke at the Import Safety Summit and posted his view of import safety in his newsletter Andy’s Take:

“You are aware that an increasing number of products – especially those affecting your health, like food and medical products – are being imported from beyond our borders. This has raised great concern recently about FDA’s ability to ensure the safety of those products. This week, I attended a summit with hundreds of industry leaders to collectively address the challenges of product safety in a global market place.

My take is that the challenge of imported product safety will increase because as American consumers, we have come to expect - and even demand – year round variety in the food we eat. And because the production of many of the drugs and medical devices we use is now a global enterprise. So if we are going to want safety in all these products, it will require a collective effort, through collaboration with industry and international regulatory counterparts. This is to build safety in to the production of food and medical products as well as to create systems that assure their safety through distribution and consumption.

That’s why the FDA is accelerating initiatives like our participation in a groundbreaking program with partners in the European Union and Australia. Through a new pilot program we will jointly plan, allocate, and conduct certain inspections of facilities in developing countries that manufacture the starting materials for many of the drugs you take. If this program is successful, it could be expanded to include other types of drug manufacturing facilities. By leveraging the resources of each agency and sharing vital information, the number of foreign facilities in our inspection data base expands while allowing FDA to target its resources on products that we believe present the highest risk to US consumers.”

We at XStream System agree with Commissioner vonEschenbach on the importance of safety throughout the distribution chain and believe that the molecular pharmaceutical authentication possible with the XT250™ Material Identification System will further the industry’s ability to ensure safety to the consumer.

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