Jakarta. Food and drug monitoring agency BPOM has demanded to be given more investigative power following last month's revelation that several health facilities in the country have been administering fake vaccines for years — a case that has prompted a major public outrage.
Calls have since been growing for revisions to a number of health ministry regulations which lawmakers at the House of Representatives say have curbed the BPOM's powers.
"Ideally, we would like to have the power to arrest people suspected of selling fake vaccines or other drugs to hospitals or other health facilities," Arustiyono of the agency said on Thursday.
"If we have this power, we can also quickly seize the fake vaccines and bring them into our laboratory," Arustiyono said.
The Health Ministry, the National Police and the BPOM formed a joint task force two months ago to crack down on the fake vaccine distribution ring.