The Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) is celebrating its Foundation Day on 14 June 2020. DRA was established in 2004 as a Unit under the Ministry of Health and delinked in 2008 forming an autonomous government agency. The celebration of foundation day is aimed at creating public awareness on the roles and responsibilities of DRA; educating the general public on safe use of medicines and appealing to stakeholders for coordination to ensure quality, safety and effectiveness of medicines imported and used in the country.
The theme for this year’s foundation day is “Collaborating towards ensuring availability, safety and quality of medicinal products”.
With the vast majority of our medical products being imported, we are prone to unscrupulous market influences putting patients’ lives at risk. According to the WHO, an estimated 1 in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries is either substandard or falsified. Bhutan is also at risk of importing such substandard medical products. This will not result in wastage of government money, but substandard or falsified medical products can cause serious illnesses or even death.
These days many products claiming health benefits are sold online. DRA requests the general public to exercise caution while purchasing and using such products without prescription as they may be harmful to health or sometimes cause serious injuries. In the interest of public safety, individuals are also requested to restrain from selling such products online without prior approval from the Authority.
Without the support of numerous organizations and individuals such as manufacturers, suppliers, government procurement agencies, healthcare professionals and private pharmacists, DRA alone can only do very little to make sure that our people get safe, effective and quality medical products. Therefore DRA solicits support from all healthcare professions to help us make medicines safer by reporting incidents of adverse events or poor quality medical products. Reporting forms are available at www.dra.gov.bt
Medicine safety is a collective responsibility. Let us join our hands to make medicines safer!
June 14th, 2020
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