The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new five-year plan to improve the quality and safety of health products.
The organisation claims that despite global progress, serious problems with health product quality and safety persist, particularly in lower- and middle-income countries. It also claims current regulatory capacity and enforcement are insufficient in most developing countries, with the WHO estimating that only three out of 10 regulatory authorities globally function according to acceptable standards.
The ‘Delivering Quality-assured Medical Products for All 2019–2023’ plan has been designed to help national regulators to “deliver regulation that protects the public while enabling timely access to quality products and encouraging innovation”.
It outlines work and activities to reach four main objectives:
- Strengthen country and regional regulatory systems in line with the drive towards universal health coverage (UHC)
- Increase regulatory preparedness for public health emergencies
- Strengthen and expand WHO pre-qualification and product risk assessment processes
- Increase the impact of WHO’s regulatory support activities.
The WHO is working with a number of global partners including UNICEF and GAVI to ensure full co-ordination and work towards a common goal “to deliver a safe and quality-assured supply of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and other health products for all populations”.