Press Release



LCQ2: Setting up of Drug Evaluation Centre


Following is a question by the Hon Bernard Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):


It is reported that the Singaporean Government is setting up a Centre for Drug Evaluation in respect of new drugs for registration. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has similar plans to establish such centre in Hong Kong, particularly in respect of Chinese medicine; if it has, of the steps it will take to ensure its competitiveness among drug evaluation centres in the region; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

In Hong Kong, pharmaceutical products are evaluated for their safety, efficacy and quality before they are approved for registration and sale. Evaluation is performed by the Pharmaceuticals Registration Committee, established by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138). The Committee comprises medical doctors, pharmacists, a veterinary surgeon and a chemist. For carrying out its functions, the Committee, where necessary, will also seek the expert advice of specialist doctors and university academics. This arrangement is serving a similar purpose as the Centre for Drug Evaluation in Singapore.

As regards Chinese medicines, subject to the passage of the Chinese Medicine Bill by the Legislative Council, a statutory regulatory framework will be established in the future to control the practice, use and trading of Chinese medicine, including a requirement for all proprietary Chinese medicines to be registered before they can be sold in Hong Kong. An evaluation mechanism, similar to the existing one for pharmaceutical products, will be set up for the evaluation of the proprietary Chinese medicines seeking registration.

END/Wednesday, March 24, 1999