On 1 and 2 December, the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA), a group of leading medicines regulatory authorities and experts from around the world, held a high-level meeting to discuss regulatory challenges, including those faced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Participants from the 24 members and 13 associated members and experts from the World Health Organization and the European Commission also discussed the path towards regulatory alignment on the global response to the Omicron variant.
‘The pandemic has increased the urgency for us to converge on responses both to existing regulatory challenges and complex new ones,’ said Emer Cooke, Chair of ICMRA and EMA’s Executive Director. ‘ICMRA has proven its value during the COVID-19 response, both as a platform for sharing information and best practices and as a venue for providing strategic leadership, active information sharing, pragmatic solutions and regulatory convergence.’
One of the goals of the meeting was to exchange information on regulatory approaches to the COVID-19 response, draw lessons learned and identify future priorities and opportunities to strengthen regulatory preparedness for future public health emergencies. Meeting participants also reflected on other important issues that are on the agenda of medicines regulators and public health bodies, including the fight against antimicrobial resistance, medicines for use in pregnancy and supply chain integrity.
The meeting was hosted by the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and co-chaired by Antonio Barra Torres, Director of ANVISA, and Emer Cooke, Chair of ICMRA and EMA’s Executive Director. A meeting report summarising the outcomes of the discussions will be published on the ICMRA website in due course.