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Seminar held to boost drug regulatory cooperation between BRI countries

Updated: 2021-09-11

Co-sponsored by China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) and Ministry of Commerce, the Seminar on Drug Regulation and Development Cooperation for Belt and Road Countries and the Opening Session of the Seminar on Regulation Cooperation and Industry Development of Medical Products for Belt and Road Countries were held in Beijing both online and offline on Sept 1.

NMPA Deputy Commissioner Xu Jinghe attended and delivered a speech at the event. Participants in the symposium included officials and experts from health and drug regulatory administrations in Armenia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Zambia.

Xu said promoting health cooperation and building a healthy Silk Road  plays an important part in Belt and Road construction. It provides a broad space for bilateral and multilateral collaboration and market growth in the health sector and also brings opportunities for communication and cooperation in drug regulation between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Facing the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government, together with the international community, has pushed to build a global immunity barrier and has contributed to vaccine availability and affordability in developing countries. The NMPA has spared no efforts to facilitate emergency approval of drugs and medical devices to ensure that vaccines and medical devices needed for COVID-19 prevention and control are put into use as quickly as possible in order to effectively facilitate the fight against the pandemic, Xu said. Meanwhile, the NMPA is continuing to deepen reforms of its review and approval system. A series of laws and regulations have been introduced to encourage innovation in drugs and medical devices, which accelerates the availability of innovative drugs and medical devices in the market and contributes Chinese wisdom and strength to the building of a global community of health for all.

Drug safety is a major issue of global concern, Xu stressed, noting that solving the issue of drug safety requires concerted efforts by the international community. In an era of globalization and informatization, it is particularly necessary to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in drug regulation between countries taking part in the BRI. He said that he hopes the training program will continue to deepen exchanges and collaboration between countries involved in the BRI and make steady improvement on their overall capability to regulate drugs. He also urged the program to give full play to its role in advancing traditional friendship and coordination between these countries to jointly make more contributions to the protection and promotion of human health.

At the meeting, participants held discussions regarding national drug regulatory and development cooperation. Gauden Galea, representative of the World Health Organization in China, briefed the attendees on global public health cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of the program’s members introduced the development of the drug regulatory systems and pharmaceutical industries in their own countries, and shared their experience in COVID-19 prevention and control and the latest progress in international cooperation. Delegates from China's NMPA, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as well as the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at the symposium.

The 14-day training program will be held both online and offline. By taking part in classes, seminars, visiting activities and exams online, participants are expected to gain a picture of China's drug regulation and exchange views with representatives of the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. Various discussions will be arranged throughout the program so as to enhance communication related to drug regulation between China and other BRI countries, as well as boost pharmaceutical industrial cooperation.