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Washington, DC, 16 April 2019 (PAHO)- From March 25 to 26, 2019, representatives from Central American National Regulatory Authorities for Medicines (NRAs) met in Belize to advance in the development of a joint review mechanism for pharmaceutical products for the countries of the Region. The meeting was organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with the participation of delegates from the NRAs of Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

"This initiative seeks to support the development of a regional approach for the technical evaluation of pharmaceutical products and strengthen the regulatory functions of medicines and health products in Central America through collaboration among the NRAs," said Analía Porrás, Chief of the Medicines and Health Technologies Unit at PAHO.

The meeting was the conclusion of the pilot project on “Joint Review of Dossiers”, which began in August 2018 and sought to develop a working mechanism that brings together technicians from Central American regulatory agencies to improve the process of review of files that are submitted to new registration in the countries.

During the meeting, the NRAs representatives participated in a joint evaluation exercise of medicine that sought to validate the working mechanism. "The discussion was an enriching experience since it highlighted the causes why the same file, under the same Central American Technical Regulation, produces different results in each country; thus, demonstrated the importance of developing a joint working mechanism," said José Vicente Coto, Sub Regional Consultant of Medicines at PAHO.

As part of the conclusions of the meeting, attendees defined the development of a User's Guide for the joint review mechanism, and a Review procedure for the technical evaluation of pharmaceutical products. The project is part of the joint efforts of PAHO and countries to improve access to safe, effective and quality medicines and health technologies in the Central American Region.