Drug Industry Equals The Regulator
It’s actually horrid to live under no custody against bad drug administration in this country. But, well, not knowing may be more comfortable to live with, for many of us. There are still many major things to think about. Do you care?
Below, is a quote from article written by Prof. Iwan Darmansjah, an Emeritus Professor at the University of Indonesia in Pharmacology. You can see the quote here, read the rest from the link provided or find the edited article in Jakarta Post, October 13th edition.
In Indonesia, governance of drugs has never been well organized. POM (Food and Medicine Control Agency), later named BPOM, after its separation from the Ministry of Health and put directly under the President’s control — never had enough or qualified manpower nor the organization to protect the public from bad drugs. The agency is exclusively manned by pharmacists (and two medical doctors given a minor role) and the role of the medical profession about who in fact should be in charge of safety and efficacy of drugs was sidelined.
The drug evaluation branch was entirely headed by pharmacists; the wrong men in the wrong place. The agency seems to be closer and more protective of the industry than of the public. Hordes of ineffective drugs swarm the Indonesian market, draining public resources for useless drugs. False drug claims and wrong doses are blatantly condoned and fill the pages of the formal drug information called Medical Information Management System (MIMS) of Indonesia.
Although BPOM has the power to regulate the industry, it does not effectively used its authority for the sake of consumers. MIMS claim that whatever is put in the MIMS list has been approved by BPOM. Unethical marketing is rampant, and BPOM is unable to control it. As long as the medical department is subordinate to marketing people, as is common in almost all drug companies in this country, the ethical situation will remain hopeless.