Betsy Miller: Health & Medical Talk
Debunking the Panic Over Asian Imports

Amidst a recent increase in reported defective and dangerous products from Asia, many consumers elsewhere have become very wary of consuming goods from that region. Goods ranging from dog food to children’s toys and many more have come under fire for being hazardous. Although some concern is certainly warranted, everyone should think twice before writing off Asian imports.

First of all, people need to keep in mind the sheer volume of Asian products we import. We get many more imports from Asia than anywhere else in the world. What this means is that, even though there seems to be a lot of defective products from the area, the proportion of them that have actually been shown to be truly dangerous is really tiny. Although this certainly doesn’t excuse the production of such goods, it does provide context.

Second, consumers should be careful about using blanket statements about all Asian products. Asia is the largest continent in the world, and its markets are as diverse as its cultures. The vast majority of defective goods come from China and other less developed nations like Vietnam that have relatively low standards. However, some Asian countries like Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are very developed and have product creation standards almost as high as ours.

Additionally, not all Asian industries have the same standards. Some are very highly regulated, either by industry organizations or governments. The Asian medical distributors, in particular, have a very good reputation and track record. Asian automotive companies are also often held in very high regard.
Although consumers shouldn’t be paranoidly avoiding Asian products, it’s still wise to stay informed and be cautious.

If for some reason you suspect any product is defective, you should avoid using it until you can verify its safety. This is especially true with Asian products, but holds for everything from anywhere. Additionally, you should stay informed about recalls and product warnings. These are regularly announced and updated by the government’s recall monitoring agency. Their recall list and information can all easily be found online to keep U.S. citizens aware of dangerous products and medicines.

Stay Current On Drug Regulation Policies

Thirty years ago, international drug registration was unheard of. In the last twenty to twenty five years, registration has gained influence in the world-wide pharmaceutical market.

Drug registration is vital in order to conduct the trials and studies that are used to ensure a medication’s safety, efficacy and quality. The data that is collected must be included in the prescribed fashion and is required to include the country-specific product registration applications. The applications are submitted to a designated government health regulatory authority. The government authorities evaluate the data and decide whether the product may or may not be sold within the country’s borders.

Prior to current requirements, the safety and efficacy of medicine was solely within the authority and control of the dispensing pharmacist. With the creation and discovery of new drugs and varying dosing requirements, the responsibility was passed from the retail pharmacist to the drug companies.

The registration process is an important part of product regulation. The lack of drug registration is a serious problem. By some estimates, more than 20% of the medications in some countries are not registered.

Pharmaceutical companies play an important role when it comes to medical care. This is true internationally, but is of particular importance in India. The mortality rate due to various deprivation-related diseases is high. In some cases, there are safe and effective remedies for these conditions. Conversely, India is technologically advanced enough to be a leader in the research and discovery of new drugs. Unlike other registering countries, the responsibility for the pharmaceutical sector in India is shared by two ministries; the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industry and the Directorate of Drugs Control under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

In order to stay up to date on India drug registration, it is a good idea to become familiar with the World Health Organization. The WHO is a United Nations agency that coordinates international health activities and helps governments improve medical services. The agency also issues reports and statistics useful in monitoring health conditions the world over. Additionally, the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics has a comprehensive website that provides current information on current drug registration policies in India.

International Drug Registration Policies and Challenges

Politics, trade and economy, and international relations play a huge role in deciding laws regarding the regulation, distribution and registration of drugs in national databases. Some drugs that are legal or non-defined in many municipalities and nations will be illegal or controlled in other states. This is determined by a number of legislative factors.

Since international news rarely covers any stories outside of the sensationalist vibes of drug cartel drama and pharmaceuticals with negative reactions to a large number of people, finding information regarding the registration of lesser known drugs can be a more than arduous task. Plunging into the depths of the internet to discover PDFs and documentation about the registration of these drugs is contingent on the freedom of information within any given political situation in the nation of origin.

Japan drug registration information is relatively easy to obtain. Since Japan is a modern, industrial democratic society, obtaining any such information is as simple as searching for information that is readily available and cataloged on online databases. Conversely, Japan drug registration information is easy to obtain, as compared to obtaining drug registration information from a third world nation with a decentralized or non-existent government.

Most countries have entire departments of their bureaucracy dedicated to labeling, registering, and regulating the purchase, distribution, and sale of drugs. Countries that lack any such department, such as many “third world” countries in Africa, have looser or fewer defined rules regarding pharmaceuticals.

New drugs created are reviewed heavily by researchers and scientists before they are registered into a database. Their symptoms and uses are cataloged, and a small fraction of these drugs are approved for medical use through prescription or store purchase. Most drugs aren’t approved for over-the-counter use not because they are all dangerous, but because they require long-term studies and research products with control groups in order to map possible side-effects. Store-bought drugs in the United States, Japan, and much of the West are scrutinized by governmental departments heavily before they even reach the preliminary stages of approval for supermarket and store sale to the public.

Detailed databases of drug registration and drug policies can be procured online through many sources and databases. When researching the drug policies of smaller nations or nations with decentralized governments, drug registration policies may be unclear or undefined.

Pharmaceutical companies interested in publishing or distributing their products to nations worldwide can find more information about the registration procedures of individual nations like Japan online from a number of sources. Some drugs are subjected to long-term trials or require submitted research and findings in order to begin the registration process.