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Harmonisation of veterinary vaccine control is well under way in Asia

The Office International des Epizooties has just held a Conference on harmonising the registration and control of veterinary vaccines in Asia, in New Delhi (India), from 19 to 21 November 1997. This initiative follows on from the successful first Conference on the same subject held in Singapore in 1995.

The Organising Committee was comprised of officers from the Department of Animal Health and Dairying of the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as international experts on veterinary drugs and vaccines. The OIE Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Drugs at Fougères (France) was in charge of the scientific programme and the choice of speakers for the Conference, in close collaboration with other institutions* working in the field of veterinary vaccines at the regional and world level.

The Indian government, the Japanese government and the World Confederation of Animal Health Industries (COMISA) supported this conference, which also benefited from the contributions of numerous regional and national institutions.

The Conference, which was opened by His Excellency, Shri Chaturanan Mishra, Minister of Agriculture of India, brought together more than a hundred specialists from Asia and Oceania, the Americas and the European Union, who compared the regulations applied in Asia before debating the problems associated with the registration and control of veterinary drugs in the region and at the world level, in particular:

    • the conditions required for the harmonisation of vaccines in Asia within the global context of trade liberalisation;
    • analysis of the risks associated with importing vaccines;
    • good manufacturing practices and inspection;
    • control during production and control of the final product.

These issues have often been debated in other regions of the world, especially in Europe and the Americas, and this is the second time that Asian experts have had an opportunity to address them in such a favourable international context. The experience of other regions of the world should enable Asia to very rapidly harmonise its registration and vaccine control procedures at world level.

At the close of the conference, the main recommendations were:

  • to establish an Ad hoc Group, which would harmonise the quality criteria for the most important veterinary vaccines, and propose Reference Laboratories for these vaccines in Asia;

  • to organise for interested Asian countries, a training programme on Good Manufacturing Practices and inspection of veterinary drugs, with the technical assistance of the World Confederation of Animal Health Industries (COMISA);
  • countries in the Asian region contribute to the international harmonisation of technical criteria for the registration of veterinary vaccines in accordance with the procedures foreseen by the VICH.

These recommendations should permit rapid progress in the harmonisation of regional regulations and their application procedures in Asia. Such harmonisation has become a priority objective for the region, given the importance of Asian livestock production and the growth and liberalisation of the international market in veterinary vaccines.

Paris, 21 November 1997

* ASEAN: Association of South East Asian Nations; COMISA: World Confederation of Animal Health Industries; EMEA: European Medicines Evaluation Agency; IIH: Indian Immunologicals Hyderabad; MAFF: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan; NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement; NRA: National (Australian) Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals; EU: European Union; USDA: United States Department of Agriculture; VICH: Veterinary International Cooperation on Harmonization; VRI: Indian Veterinary Research Institute.

Contact : Maria Zampaglione