On Thursday, National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China hosted a videoconference novel coronavirus test kits and ventilators quality inspection.
The virtual attendees including heads of authorities of 15 provincial-level jurisdictions, as well as legal representatives of 26 test kit manufacturers and 37 ventilator manufacturers.
From Beijing side, aside from major officials of NMPA including Commissioner Jiao Hong, Deputy Director of the inspection team from Central Commission for Discipline Inspection/National Supervision Commission to State Administration of Market Regulation Qin Jiugang also attended.
Yes usually such job titles are long and at best confusing – Central Commission and Discipline Inspection from the community past and the National Supervision Commission from the state are essentially the same team. Their presence usually shows the top leadership’s concern about a particular area.
According to a communiqué released after the conference, “currently the outbreak in China is trending towards the positive side, while globally the spread is still accelerating. Under these circumstances, the demand for medical devices has risen significantly. To ensure the quality of pandemic-fighting medical devices is the right responsibility of China as a big country, and is essential for China’s international image.
The whole ecosystem needs to raise the political standing of this, and deeply understand the importance of ensuring quality and safety, improve risk mitigation at all levels, and ensure quality and safety of all relevance products.”
The provincial and local authorities are required to:
- Establish a list of relevant manufacturers, including their background, product catalogue and reporting to the authorities;
- Ensure the inspection standards all the way from the source of all products – revoke licences and permits of those which do not meet the standards;
- Focus on key problems especially test kit productions and supply;
- Enhance communications – for any quality or safety issues, investigate immediately and communicate to the public in a timely manner;
- Exercise the toughest standards t crack any illegal and criminal manufacturing or sale of medical devices.
The conference also required manufacturers and local authorities to collaborate well with other relevant departments such as market supervision and customs, to share information and service global outbreak control.
Legal representatives of major manufacturers, Beijing Aeonmed, Shanghai Suzhou Yuwell, Shanghai Zhijiang, Hangzhou Ustar, Shenzhen Mindray have reported their information at the conference, as well as the plans to strengthen quality control.
Beyond the rhetoric, the State is quite serious about the subject matter. Expect changes, penalties as well as stricter enforcement.