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Chinese Drug Regulatory Authorities Briefed at PAHO

A delegation of food and drug regulatory authorities from China’s Hubei province visited the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) on Feb. 22 for a briefing on efforts to strengthen regulatory capacity for medicines and medical technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean.



PAHO’s senior advisor on medicines and health technologies, James Fitzgerald, described PAHO’s efforts to build regulatory capacity in its member countries by supporting institutional development and information sharing between regulators on subjects including good manufacturing practices, drug registration, and pharmacovigilance. He also described PAHO’s support of regional regulatory harmonization through the Pan American Network for Drug Regulatory Harmonization (PANDRH). As part of these efforts, PAHO recognizes “regulatory authorities of regional reference,” that is, national regulatory authorities (NRAs) that serve as models for other countries that are seeking to improve their own drug regulatory systems. Currently, the NRAs of Argentina (Anmat), Brazil (Anvisa), Colombia (Invima), and Cuba (Cecmed) are designated as regional references in the Americas.

Fitzgerald noted that the Region’s countries have placed growing emphasis on drug regulatory issues in recent years as part of efforts to promote both innovation and equitable access to new medicines and health technologies.

PAHO Assistant Director Dr. Socorro Gross told the delegation that one of the biggest challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean is to ensure that new drugs and technologies benefit those who need them most.

She also noted that the countries of the Americas enjoy strong trade ties with China and that the Region is home to millions of people who are of Chinese descent.

Members of the delegation included directors and deputy directors from both provincial and city-level food and drug regulatory agencies of Hubei province. The delegation’s visit is being organized by the U.S.–China Business Training Center, in El Monte, California (

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