FDA seeks more funding for labs at international mail facilities

Buried in the FDA's $6.5 billion budget request for fiscal 2022 is a small but important element that would bolster the agency's ability to keep illicit products out of the US.

The $10m request – submitted to the Biden administration in May – includes request to fund 25 additional permanent scientist staffers at the international mail facilities (IMFs), who would be tasked with identifying and intercepting shipments of opioids as well as unapproved foreign drugs, falsified medicines and other fraudulent health products.

It recognises the increasing role of small-parcel mail in illicit trade flows. In fiscal 2020, FDA examined 20 per cent more international mail parcels than in the previous year, uncovering unapproved prescription drugs, unapproved opioids, dietary supplements containing active pharmaceutical ingredients, and medical devices such as contaminated decorative contact lenses and fraudulent COVID-19 test kits.

FDA staff reviewed over 50,000 products at IMFs, up from 14,000 in the prior year, and seized 215 opioid shipments. 97 per cent of those were either destroyed, refused, or referred to the agency's Office of Criminal Inspections (OCI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The request would allow an expansion of an ongoing programme of establishing satellite laboratories at selected IMFs, bringing FDA and CBP scientists with special training and advanced tools together for rapid testing. The first lab was set up at the IMF in Chicago.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top