The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) was formed on 1 April 2001 as a statutory board of the Singapore Ministry of Health with the integration of five specialised agencies:
- Centre for Drug Evaluation
- Institute of Science and Forensic Medicine
- National Pharmaceutical Administration
- Product Regulation Department
- Singapore Blood Transfusion Service
Its vision is to be the leading innovative authority protecting and advancing national health and safety.
The scope of HSA’s work spans a wide spectrum of scientific and professional functions.
Restructured into three main groups, the Health Products Regulation Group, the Blood Services Group, and the Applied Sciences Group, HSA carries out its mission:
- To wisely regulate health products to meet standards of safety, quality and efficacy
- To serve the administration of justice through its capabilities in forensic medicine, forensic science and analytical chemistry testing
- To secure the nation’s blood supply by ensuring a safe and adequate blood supply for public and private hospitals
These functions support other regulatory and compliance agencies in protecting public health and safety.
HSA attracts talent that are the best in what they do. Brought together from diverse backgrounds, HSAians are driven by their passion to serve and uphold public health and safety standards. Forming the building blocks of our organisation, HSAians are committed individuals who embody the organisation’s core values:
Service to the Nation
We are part of the Singapore Public Service, committed to integrity, excellence and efficiency.
Passion for Excellence
We aim to be the best in all that we do.
Develop Our Community
We value our people and build trusted teams.
We act with credibility, professionalism and integrity, to instil public trust and confidence.
We seek constantly to improve and transform.
Providing Safe and Timely Access to Health Products
The Health Products Regulation Group strives to create a more conducive and smart regulatory environment that supports the development of the biomedical sector.
It ensures that drugs, innovative therapeutics, medical devices and health-related products are wisely regulated and meet appropriate safety, quality and efficacy standards. The agency also contributes to the formulation of national drug policies.
HSA issues certificates for clinical drug trials and grants approvals for western medicines before they are marketed in Singapore. Audits on good manufacturing and distribution practices are also conducted.
HSA monitors health products in the market through regulatory surveillance activities. The agency also carries out investigations and takes enforcement action against illegal activities related to unregistered, counterfeit and adulterated health products.
Drawing on an established monitoring programme which taps into a local and overseas network, HSA also acts swiftly to reported adverse drug events, minimising harm to public health and safety.
Delivering a World-class Blood Service
The Blood Services Group is the national blood service of Singapore and is responsible for securing the country's blood supply and blood safety. It runs the Bloodbank@HSA and two satellite collection sites at Woodlands and Dhoby Ghaut, to collect, process, test and distribute blood and blood components to all hospitals in Singapore.
HSA works closely with the Singapore Red Cross, which manages the National Blood Donor Recruitment and Retention Programme. This strategic partnership has seen significant success in increasing the pool of blood donors.
The agency also offers specialised immunohaematology services and tissue typing services to healthcare institutions in Singapore and the region.
It provides clinical consultative services in the speciality of transfusion medicine. It has also set up a Cell Therapy Facility to provide one-stop research and translational service for cell therapy in Southeast Asia.
Supporting the Administration of Justice
The Applied Sciences Group is the national authority in forensic medicine and science, analytical testing and chemical metrology. It supports regulatory and compliance agencies in the administration of justice and safeguarding of public health.
Its analytical testing laboratories provide specialised scientific and investigative services to government agencies, healthcare institutions and private companies.
The range of services include:
- Forensic medical consultancy services in support of death investigation in Singapore
- Forensic science services such as criminalistics and DNA profiling in support of criminal investigations and illicit drugs control
- Analytical testing in support of health products regulation, cigarette and tobacco product control
- Toxicological services provided to hospitals
HSA has also been a designated institute for developing and promoting chemical metrology in Singapore since 2008.
Strong Global Links
Collaborations through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)
As part of its commitment to enhance inter-agency regulatory efforts on the global front, HSA has signed MOUs with these agencies:
- Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore
- Beijing Red Cross Blood Centre, China
- China Food and Drug Administration, China
- Health Canada, Canada
- Health Products Regulatory Authority, Ireland
- International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL
- Medical Products Agency, Sweden
- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, UK
- Medicines Evaluation Board, the Netherlands
- Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Republic of Korea
- Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, together with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, Japan
- Ministry of Health, Malaysia
- National Forensic Service, Republic of Korea
- National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Singapore
- Netherlands Forensic Institute, the Netherlands
- New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, New Zealand
- Paul-Erhlich-Institut, Germany
- Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore, Singapore
- Singapore Red Cross Society, Singapore
- Singapore Sports Council, Singapore
- Swissmedic, Switzerland
- The Health Care Inspectorate, the Netherlands
- The National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality, Brazil
- Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia
- United States Food and Drug Administration, United States
- United States Pharmacopeia, United States
- Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Australia
Recognition by the World Health Organization (WHO)
HSA's professional groups have being identified as WHO Collaborating Centres in the following core areas of expertise:
- Transfusion Medicine
- Drug Quality Assurance
- Food Contamination Monitoring
- Tobacco Testing and Research
As a testament of its established transfusion medicine expertise, HSA is internationally accredited by the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks), and the American Society of Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics.
HSA is a founding member of the Asian Pacific Blood Network, and participates actively in the many Working Parties of the International Society of Blood Transfusion and in the International Haemovigilance Network.
Apart from being accredited under the Singapore Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (SINGLAS), HSA is the first agency outside of the United States of America to be accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). It is also accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).
It has also been named a United Nations International Drug Control Programme Reference Laboratory for Biological Specimens and Seized Materials.