Reported by Lin Hui-Cin
The TFDA has received 243 complaints about concerns over drug effectiveness since the TFDA’s launch of a new platform for reporting suspected ineffective drugs in May. The TFDA reckoned that the new platform is more user-friendly than its previous version, hence, the surge of complaints. Pharmacists suggest that patients could have their prescriptions filled by community pharmacies and request their original medication.
In order to ease patients’ concerns of the changes of medication, in Year 2000, the TFDA established a platform for reporting ineffective drugs. Hung Guo-Dung, a Section Chief of the TFDA, expressed that patients can use the platform to report any suspected ineffectiveness of drugs prescribed as substitutes to their usual medication. The platform was updated and incorporated into the NHI cloud-based medication record system through the collaboration with the NHIA in May.
According to the TFDA’s statistics, the number of reports was just 34, 52 and 29 in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. This year, the number of reports surged to 243 in just 6 months after the launch of the updated system.
Huang Zhou-Jie, a specialist of the NHIA, pointed out that over 30% of the reports were about psychiatric medicines, such as sleeping pills, followed by drugs for hypertension, high blood lipid, diabetes, etc. The complaints covered both generic drugs and original drugs obtained from big and small hospitals. The TFDA will monitor and analyse the data.
Hung Guo-Dung said that for a patient to point out whether a drug is effective or not is quite subjective. The data will be evaluated and discussed with experts. If necessary, the TFDA will sample and test the medicine.
Wu Hsui-Mei, the Director of the TFDA, explained that though this year’s number of reports might increase due to the launch of an updated platform, the number of confirmed cases might just remain stable because all drugs subject to stringent evaluation and assessment prior to the issuance of licenses.
【2018-12-10/ Liberty Times】