Macao is setting up a new government bureau to oversee pharmaceutical products, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products.
Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said that the new bureau – officially named Pharmaceutical Supervision and Administration Bureau – will start operations on 1 January.
Cheong, who is also the spokesman for the Executive Council, pointed out that currently the Pharmaceutical Department of the Health Bureau (SSM) is tasked with supervising the provision of medicines, including traditional Chinese medicines.
Cheong said that the government decided to establish a new bureau specifically tasked with medicinal matters after considering the vast scope of supervision of pharmaceutical activities in Macao.
In addition, according to Cheong, a new medicinal bureau is needed for the full implementation of a new law regulating pharmaceutical activities of traditional Chinese medicines and the registration of TCM products, which will come into force on 1 January. The new TCM bill was passed by lawmakers earlier this year.
According to Cheong, the new bureau will be headed by a director with the assistance of two deputy directors, and will have five departments and six divisions.
According to Cheong, the new bureau will be run by no more than 105 officials. Choi Peng Cheong, who heads the SSM’s Pharmaceutical Department, said that all 62 officials of the department will be transferred to the new bureau. The remaining positions will be filled with officials transferred from other units under the SSM and by recruiting new staff.
In related news, Cheong announced that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the SSM will be upgraded to department level on 1 January.
According to Cheong, the government has finished drafting a new administrative regulation to amend the SSM’s existing organisational structure and operation to get the CDC upgrade off the ground, The Macau Post Daily reported.