Inappropriate approval of products

Product approval is carried out to determine the quality, effectiveness and safety of a product. For drugs this will usually be carried out by a national or transnational drug regulatory agency.

When approving products there are several specific risks. A supplier or manufacturer may bribe officials to register a product without the necessary documentation, such as clinical trial or study results demonstrating the safety of the product. Officials may deliberately slow down the product approval process to solicit a payment from the supplier. For example, officials may slow down the approval process for all suppliers, except for the one supplier from which they have extracted payments.

Alternatively, officials sitting on the approval process panel may have a conflict of interest through holding a financial interest in the supplier seeking approval for a product, clearly compromising the integrity of the product approval process, and potentially resulting in unsafe or poor quality products entering the health system.