The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would add 87 staff for the review of drug safety and efficacy next year to relieve the review overload and enhance its expertise regarding drug approval.
Ministry officials said Thursday they had submitted to the National Assembly its plan to increase the number of reviewers of drugs and biopharmaceuticals by, 40 and reviewers of medical devices by 47, in 2020. The food and drug regulator coordinated the plan with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and secured the six-month budget for extra 87 officials.
The 87 reviewers will include former doctors. The ministry allocated 2.5 billion won ($2.1 million) budget to hire about 20 to 25 physicians for the reviewer positions.
“We planned our budget on a six-month basis for 87 staffs, according to the policy of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. If the budget plan passes the National Assembly, we will start hiring from next year,” an official at the food and drug safety ministry said.
The hiring will process on a six-month basis because the employing period could be either in March, June, or September. As the plan could change depending on the National Assembly’s budget passage schedule or the ministry's hiring schedule, the budget has been set conservatively, the official added.