Representatives from nineteen countries in the Western Pacific gathered in Tokyo in August for the Eighth Workshop of National Authorities for Medical Products, also known as the Regional Alliance. The workshop was themed, “Working together to safeguard public health through regulatory partnership on the quality, safety, effectiveness of medical products in the Western Pacific Region.”

MTaPS Principal Technical Advisor Comfort Ogar, and Andy Stergachis from  MTaPS Global Expert partner the University of Washington, attended the meeting. They were there to lay the building blocks for MTaPS collaboration with, and support to, the region under its Asia Bureau portfolio. MTaPS presented an overview of its regulatory system strengthening work and shared examples of countries where it had successfully supported NMRAs. Of particular interest to the MTaPS team were discussions on enhancing collaboration within the region on reliable mechanisms for medical products registration and for pharmacovigilance, both MTaPS focus areas.

Attendees also included organizations that support initiatives to strengthen national regulatory systems in the region. A key message of the meeting: Partners need closer collaboration, open communication and better information sharing that support RSS efforts, using a framework similar to that of the WHO’s Coalition of Interested Partners, a model for global regulatory system strengthening, and driven by NMRAs.

Workshop participants, including MTaPS representatives Comfort Ogar and Andy Stergachis.

Workshop participants, including MTaPS representatives Comfort Ogar and Andy Stergachis.