FDA Medication Directory Inaccurate, Report Finds
The National Drug Code Directory compiled by FDA does not include about 9,200 medications and includes 34,200 treatments no longer on the market or listed in error, according to a report released on Monday by the HHS Office of Inspector General, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. According to the report, the problems limit the usefulness of the directory, which FDA and other federal agencies use to handle recalls, identify medication errors and manage imports.
As of February 2005, the directory included 123,856 prescription drug products, compared with about 39,000 in 1990. Most of the problems with the directory resulted because pharmaceutical companies failed to comply with a federal law that requires them to list their medications with FDA, the report finds.
FDA has not taken criminal or regulatory action against pharmaceutical companies for failure to comply with the law, according to the report. FDA officials said that they agreed with the report in large part and that the agency has begun to address the problems with the directory, in part through revision of the process through which pharmaceutical companies list their medications (AP/Houston Chronicle, 8/14).