Between the 12th and 15th of June 2017, representatives from APLMA and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) visited the pharmaceutical regulatory agencies and national malaria programmes of Lao PDR, Thailand and Cambodia. The purpose was to assist counties in the preparation of draft workplans as a tool for identifying priority areas for regulatory support to improve rapid access to priority malaria medicines and diagnostics.
The visits provided a good opportunity to address important topics around access to priority antimalarial products, such as, the registration of tafenoquine as a treatment for P. vivax malaria. Tafenoquine and new rapid diagnostic tests are important new health technologies that will support the malaria elimination agenda in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
The visits successfully gathered commitment from regulators and from national malaria programmes to participate in the next WHO/ Regional Regulatory Partnership (RRP) meeting proposed for August 2017. Draft workplans will be used as a tool to steer discussions during the WHO/RRP meeting, which will focus around common priority areas for regulatory support. They will also be used to identify where technical agencies and regulatory authorities, such as the TGA, can provide support to regulatory agencies.
We look forward to working further with our country focal points and representatives from regulatory agencies and national malaria programmes in the Asia Pacific region to improve access to tools and innovation to drive malaria elimination.