China, People

Shakeup at China FDA after chief vaults to the helm of a regulatory umbrella group, new agency head named

Bi Jingquan

Four days ago, China’s Congress passed a massive government overhaul that consolidates the duties of China’s FDA under the umbrella of a market supervision administration and spits out a separate drug regulator. Today, news came out that former CFDA chief Bi Jingquan will head that umbrella agency while one of his deputies, Jiao Hong, will take up the newly created China Drug Administration.

First appointed to the CFDA in 2015, Bi has been the face of reform at the drug regulator, vowing to speed up domestic innovation and encourage foreign investment while remaining strict on drug safety. Clearing up the backlog of clinical trial and marketing applications, accepting data from overseas trial sites and sanctioning contract manufacturing agreements are among the most well-known policy changes during his tenure.

His new appointment — as party secretary of an administration tasked with overseeing quality control, anti-monopoly measures and regulation for all of industry and commerce — will tap into his background in economic planning, according to local media reports. An economist by training, he’s held numerous jobs at the development and reform departments before joining the CFDA.

Jiao Hong

Jiao, on the other hand, had tackled food and drug regulation on the provincial level before joining the CFDA as safety director in 2013. One of four vice ministers, she will continue to work under the purview of Bi’s bureau.

Details are scant about the Tuesday government meeting where the new entities were officially formed and these appointments were discussed, and there’s yet to be an official statement about the changes.


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