NASAL SPRAY BANNED
A nasal spray for treating osteoporosis that contains the drug calcitonin has been ordered off the market as of yesterday because of potential cancer risks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. The agency said that while it remained unclear whether the medicine actually reduces bone fractures in postmenopausal women, long-term use has been shown to increase the risk of cancer. Calcitonin will still be permitted in injectable form to treat Paget’s disease patients for a short time when they do not respond to alternative treatments. Under the ban, the agency is to cancel licenses for nasal sprays with calcitonin as the active ingredient, and medical institutions, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies will no longer be allowed to manufacture, import, wholesale, display or sell such medicines. Manufacturers and importers must recall products on the market within two months, and doctors will have to prescribe alternative medicines for patients.
REPORTED CRIMES DECREASE
The number of victims of crimes reported to police dropped by 34 percent between 2008 and last year, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of the Interior. Among the criminal cases handled by the police, the number of victims decreased from 350,000 in 2008 to about 230,000 last year, which shows good results from a series of educational promotions and prevention measures reinforced by the government in recent years, the ministry said. Over the past five years, the number of crime victims has decreased by 530.5 per 100,000 population, down from 1,535.7 per 100,000 in 2008 to 1,005.2 per 100,000 last year.
CLA APPROVES HIRING RULES
The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) on Friday approved amendments to regulations that aim to simplify the process of the hiring foreign nationals. The amendments are partly designed to promote international academic, cultural, arts and sports exchanges. Under the new regulations, outstanding foreign artists and athletes who have come to Taiwan on a 30-day visa or entry permit for exchanges between non-profit organizations will no longer be required to apply for an employment visa. Foreign experts or specialists who have been invited by government agencies, universities and research institutions to give lectures or to provide commercial or technical consulting services will also be exempt from applying for a work visa if they obtain a 90-day visitor visa. The council agreed to scrap the work visa requirement for foreign artists, athletes and high-caliber professionals after pressure from school and think tank administrators.
GAMING SUMMIT TO BE HELD
Game developers from Taiwan and abroad are scheduled to meet in Taipei on Thursday and Friday to share their insights into the industry during the Taipei Summit of the Game Developers Conference (GDC). It is the second year Taipei is hosting a local leg of the global industry forum, with this year’s summit organized by UK-based media company UBM TechWeb in association with UBM Asia, along with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taiwan Game Industry Promotion Alliance. The event is to be held at the Taipei International Convention Center.