regulatory environment

Well-functioning national regulatory authorities (NRAs) ensure access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable medical products. However, the benefits of their work are often unseen and difficult to attribute, thereby making NRAs undervalued and under-resourced, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This paper offers three key arguments NRAs and other stakeholders can use to advocate for greater investment in regulatory systems strengthening—medical products regulation effectively safeguards public health; effective regulation improves health system’s efficiency by increasing access to affordable medical products, contributing to universal health coverage; and robust regulation strengthens local pharmaceutical manufacturing and bolsters pharmaceutical trade. NRAs’ critical role in health systems is indisputable, yet they need to better promote their value to receive the requisite resources to function effectively.

Many low-income and middle-income countries lack the capacity to effectively and efficiently regulate medical products in their countries. To support countries in strengthening their capacity, WHO has developed the Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) as the global standard for objectively assessing regulatory capacity for medicines and vaccines. The GBT is a game changer because it is the first globally accepted tool for assessing and strengthening national regulatory authorities. The inclusion of an institutional development plan in the GBT methodology provides context-specific actionable steps countries can take to advance their system’s functionality and maturity. The GBT facilitates coordination and improves the effectiveness of regulatory strengthening efforts. The tool also facilitates regulatory reliance and harmonisation, which helps to improve timely access to quality-assured medicines, and creates incentives for trade, particularly in countries and regions with a strong pharmaceutical manufacturing base. 

Subscribe to RSS - regulatory environment