Solomon Islands
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Health Ministry Responds to Concerns Over Chinese Labelled Medical Supplies

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) has responded to concerns raised by the public on social media over Chinese labelled medicines.

One of the main concerns raised by the public is the risk when administering such medicine, given that it is in a foreign language. Those that uploaded pictures of the Chinese made medicine on social media say that the instruction leaflet inside the package is also in Chinese.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) confirmed in a recently released press statement that the Chinese labelled drugs are in fact medical drugs donated by the People’s Republic of China.

“These drugs are in the country’s essential medicines list and have been endorsed for use in Solomon Islands by the National Medicines and Therapeutic Committee (NMTC). This committee is responsible to assess, approve or disapprove the use of medical drugs including vaccines in the country,” the statement reads.

“Most of these China-donated medical drugs have English labels and instructions placed in their packages and all clinical staff, doctor and nurses are advised to liaise with National Referral Hospital (NRH) Pharmacy team for confirmation should there be any uncertainty.”

Several pictures uploaded on social media by patients at the NRH show that the Chinese donated medicines do in fact contain English labels, but the instruction leaflet is in Chinese.

With the continuous shortage in medical supplies, having a good understanding of China-based partners in the medical industry is important – especially if such medicine is donated, and looks likely to continue.

Chinese companies now account for more than 50% of the global active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) market, despite this concerns have been raised when it comes to meeting international standards.

Bloomberg reports that Chinese authorities recently ordered about 700 Chinese firms to review pending drug applications and withdraw any that were false or incomplete in an effort to step up its drug quality oversight.

About three-quarters of the applications were voluntarily withdrawn or rejected by China’s regulators, even though some of the drugs also were approved for sale in the U.S.