US FDA head Hamburg declares no one can inspect world on its own
This article was originally published in SRA
The US Food and Drug Administration recently signalled its desire to work more closely with other drug regulators in assessing the quality of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities around the world.
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It seems as if the US FDA is softening its stance on assessing the quality of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities around the world in future, with an apparent desire to work more closely with other drug regulators. However, incorporating the regulators from countries such as India, China and Japan into a global inspectorate still looks problematical.
Large pharmaceutical companies and Médecins sans Frontières may not often see eye-to-eye over access to medicines in poor countries. But it seems as if industry and the humanitarian body, a prominent critic, do agree that competition works in improving access to vaccines, even though they don't agree about the mechanisms of price setting.
GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and several Indian firms have cut the prices of their essential life-saving vaccines so they can be procured for poor children in least developed countries at affordable prices. The price reduction deal, announced by the vaccine-funder GAVI Alliance (vaccines are procured through UNICEF), includes pentavalent, rotavirus and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines (see table below).