The use of cannabis is increasing in the Pacific as in the rest of the world. This triggered the Ministry of Health to take a closer look at the relevant legislation regulating controlled substances. Consequently the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1947 was revised to reflect current needs and to be in line with international conventions on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and illicit traffic in drugs. After a round of hearings with all involved parties, it is hoped that new legislation will soon be approved.
Several activities have taken a place in Tonga in recent times to improve the pharmaceutical sector. The National Drug Policy of the Kingdom of Tonga was approved by the Cabinet in 2001. The old drug legislation was revised, resulting in the Therapeutic Goods Bill 2001. This bill provides the legal basis for registration of pharmaceutical products. The first steps towards registration of pharmaceutical products have been taken. Standard Treatment Guidelines are underway. ¦
The Vietnamese Pharmacopoeia
Duality testing of drugs has for many years received much attention from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. A system for quality control of drugs has existed in Viet Nam since 1958. Quality control is carried out by the National Institute of Drug Quality Control in Hanoi, the Sub-Institute of Quality Control in Ho Chi Minh City and the drug quality control laboratories of the provincial health departments. This countrywide network of quality testing laboratories was established to, among other duties, detect substandard and counterfeit drugs on the market.
The Vietnamese Pharmacopoeia was developed, published and distributed in early 2002. It ensures that testing is carried out consistently throughout the country. It contains 678 monographs (specification and test methods) for pharmaceutical active ingredients, herbal material and dosage forms. The Vietnamese Pharmacopoeia will be a valuable tool for the drug quality control laboratories in the government's efforts to ensure the quality of medicines on the Vietnamese market. ¦
© World Health Organization, 2002
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