Fri, May 31, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to send delegation to ICH meeting next month

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan Food and Drug Administration Director-General Wu Shou-mei, second right, speaks at a news conference on Wednesday at the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taipei.

Photo: Wu Liang-yi, Taipei Times

Taiwan is to attend a meeting of the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) next month in Amsterdam as an official member, the head of the nation’s delegation said on Wednesday.

At an ICH assembly last year, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) officially became one of the pharmaceutical regulatory members of the international body, agency Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said.

At the biannual meeting from tomorrow to Thursday next week, Taiwan is to show its power in the pharmaceutical and health sector, Wu said.

The agency’s participation in international pharmaceutical and technical efforts would not only boost the development of the local industry, but also promote public well-being by giving them greater access to pharmaceutical products, she said.

Access to medicine is critically important, but differing laws and regulations in other countries sometimes pose an obstacle to importation of pharmaceutical products to Taiwan, Wu said.

It is therefore important to internationally standardize the technical requirements for pharmaceuticals, she said.

Taiwan’s ICH membership ensures that its pharmaceutical regulations would be in line with international standards and allows its pharmaceutical companies to sell products on the global market, Wu said.

To gain membership in the ICH, Taiwan made great efforts to improve the quality of its pharmaceuticals and to let the world know that it could contribute to the sector, she said.

The TFDA had been participating in ICH-related events for about eight years before it gained observer status in 2016 and last year later became an official member under the name “TFDA, Chinese Taipei,” she said.

Taiwan’s acceptance last year was an indication that the international community recognized its strength and hard work, and thought it could make a valuable contribution, she said.

Over the past year, the agency has been represented at several ICH-related events and has sent more than 30 experts to join ICH teams that formulate pharmaceutical guidelines, Wu said.

The ICH was established in 1990 as a tripartite venture representing regulatory bodies and research-based industry.

Its major aim is to provide a forum for constructive discussion on the real and perceived differences in technical requirements for the registration of new chemical entities.

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