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Taiwan to attend ICH meeting in June as official member

2019/05/29 18:56:22

TFDA Director General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅, second right)

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Taiwan will 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 Taiwanese delegation said Wednesday.

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

At the biannual meeting June 1-6 this year, Taiwan will show its power in the pharmaceutical and health sector, Wu said.

The TFDA's participation in the international pharmaceutical and technical efforts would not only boost the development of Taiwan's pharmaceutical industry but also promote its people's wellbeing by giving them greater access to pharmaceutical products, she said.

Access to medicine is of crucial importance to Taiwan's people, but different pharmaceutical laws and regulations in other countries sometimes pose obstacles to applications for importation of pharmaceutical products to Taiwan, Wu said.

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

Taiwan's membership in the ICH ensures that its pharmaceutical regulations will 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 had to make great efforts to improve the quality of its pharmaceuticals and to let the world know that it can 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 two years later, it became an official member under the name "TFDA, Chinese Taipei," according to Wu.

Taiwan's acceptance last year as an official member of the ICH 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 TFDA 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.

The ICH's 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.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)