The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Department will set up more district branches in the country this year to prevent and control unregistered and fake drugs, cosmetics and food products in the market.
Dr Than Htut, Director General of FDA, said 27 new district branches have been set up since January and four more will be opened by the end of March.
“In January, February, and March, we opened 27 district branches. We plan to open four more branches before the end of March,” he said at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon on February 22.
“We accelerated our procedures in 2016 and 400 new staff were appointed,” he added.
The role of the FDA is to ensure the safety and quality of food, drugs, medicines and cosmetics in the country.
“In early 2016, we took action against counterfeit medicines in the market. In August last year, we alerted and informed the cosmetics market on safety concerns,” said Dr Than Htut.
He said the FDA was struggling to control unregistered and counterfeit products as it had limited staff and the collaboration of related departments, organisations and public was necessary to remove them from the market.
“We will continue to reveal food, drugs, cosmetics and products in the market that pose a danger to people, and make public these products, as well as take action,” he said.
Dr Okkar Phyo, Assistant Director of FDA, said the department was stepping up its procedures and plans to extend their reach to villages.
“People are now accepting notices on the safety of foods, drugs and cosmetic when we educate them. To change the mindset of people, we have to educate them by systematically focusing on target groups,” he added.
The FDA was established in 1995 as a division under the Department of Health and upgraded to a separate department in 2013.