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Representatives of national regulatory authorities (NRAs) for medicines and biologicals met on Feb. 7 with PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne to discuss issues including strategic cooperation and regulatory harmonization; regional mechanisms for controlling substandard, counterfeit, and misleadingly labeled medical products; and integration among regulatory authorities

"If we want to achieve universal health coverage, we must continue to strengthen our regulatory systems to guarantee a reliable supply of safe and effective medicines and technologies," said Dr. Etienne. 

During a Feb. 6-7 technical meeting at PAHO headquarters, representatives of NRAs highlighted their commitment to promoting best practices in regulation through such mechanisms as the Regional Platform on Access and Innovation for Health Technologies (PRAIS), a virtual platform that allows users to share experiences and cooperate in areas including essential medicines, biologicals, and diagnostics. 

Participants in the technical meeting made progress on the development of a cooperation strategy and on the promotion and dissemination in other regions of regulatory models from the Americas. This week’s meeting is part of efforts called for in the 2010 PAHO Directing Council resolution "Strengthening National Regulatory Authorities for Medicines and Biologicals.”

Regulatory authorities represented at this week’s meeting included the National Administration for Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT), the National Agency for Health Surveillance (ANVISA), the Center for State Control of Drugs and Medical Devices (CECMED), the National Institute for Drug and Food Surveillance (INVIMA) and the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS), as well as Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 



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