FDA Updates Foreign Operations

Oct 04, 2013

Budget issues and changing global markets are prompting FDA to revise its growing network of overseas offices. The agency is shutting down a small operation in Amman, Jordan, while expanding its presence in India. The Amman staff of two will move back to FDA headquarters to oversee the Middle East and North African medical product activities. Meanwhile, serious drug quality issues are prompting FDA to add seven people to its India office to ramp up drug inspections, bringing the total up to 19. And to better explain FDA policies and standards to local officials and manufacturers, FDA is appointing a native of Kashmir, Altaf Ahmed Lal, to head its India operations. Lal has been in the US for more than 30 years, recently at the US embassy in India. He will have to navigate charges from Indian officials and manufacturers of unwarranted US actions against Indian operators, along with complaints from US pharmaceutical companies that Indian patent decisions aim to bolster domestic firms at the expense of foreign manufacturers.