Dr Shin calls on drug regulators not to forget the public's need for access to medicines

30 November to 3 December 2010

Dr Shin playing traditional drums

Addressing the 14th International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA), in Singapore from 30 November to 3 December, Regional Director Dr Shin Young-soo urged drug regulators to bear in mind the impact of their licensing decisions on the public access to medicine.

"We all know that ensuring affordability and containing the cost of medicines are not your primary tasks," he said, "but we also know that your decisions can indirectly affect both affordability and access."

Dr Shin went on: "In deciding to allow a medicine into your national market, you are guided by science and evidence. And you operate within a framework of rules and regulations. But there is likely to be a moment when you have to make a judgement call. . . . And that is where there may be room to take into account the impact of your decisions on access."

ICDRA provides guidance to regulatory authorities, WHO and interested stakeholders, and helps determine priorities for action in national and international regulation of medicines, vaccines, biomedicines and herbals.

This year's conference was hosted and organized by the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore in collaboration with the World Health Organization

Topics discussed included the regulation of medicines, health-system strengthening, collaboration and cooperation among medicines regulatory authorities and regulation of blood and blood products.