Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it has appointed Dr. John Skerritt, previously the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries in the Victorian government, as the new national manager of TGA.
In a statement posted on the agency's website on 2 May, TGA said Skerritt will take control of the agency at the end of May 2012 and said Skerritt is highly qualified to run the agency well.
"Skerritt currently leads more than 1200 staff (including 700 regulatory staff in two major science-based regulatory Divisions) and has more than 17 years' experience managing laboratory programs and operations in diagnostics, cell culture, biomedical instrumentation, chemistry and biochemistry," Professor Jane Halton, Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, said.
"He also has recent experience in the regulatory reform of veterinary drugs and agrochemicals" and holds a PhD in Pharmacology, added Halton.
Skerritt takes over TGA at a time when the agency has been under fire for its failure to establish registries that could have prevented Australian patients from being exposed to faulty medical devices manufactured by French manufacturer Poly Implant Prothese.
Even more important, Skerritt takes over TGA at a time when it is looking to merge its operations with New Zealand's Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, with a consolidation scheduled to occur by 2017.
In 2012, the two agencies plan to start co-developing projects beginning with the launch of an information website on adverse drug reactions in July 2012. Additional cooperation in 2012 will include improved search functions for adverse drug reactions, a common recalls portal and a common early warning system.
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