ICH to Minimize Role of Industry in Harmonization Process
| Posted: 6 July 2012
By Alexander Gaffney
The International Conference on Harmonisation’s (ICH) plans to implement changes to minimize the role of industry in its harmonization efforts going forward, making it the second international harmonization body this year to take efforts to exclude industry.
In a 3 July statement, ICH said its Steering Committee and Expert Working Groups had “agreed on new principles of governance for robust science-based Guidelines for the review of the safety, efficacy, and quality of medicinal products.”
As part of this agreement, regulators within ICH will assume a greater degree of “responsibility in ensuring the protection of public health, in addition to their competence to issue regulatory Guidelines.”
While ICH said its decisions will continue to be made through a consensus-driven process, expert working groups will now be chaired exclusively by representatives of government regulators. Further, regulatory parties—the US, EU and Japan—will be able to unanimously start the harmonization process on a topic regardless of whether industry supports such measures, ICH said.
ICH also said it will move to make more of its internal processes transparent, and agreed to release copies of its technical documents on a regular basis. The move is expected to be incorporated into its Rules of Procedures during its next official meeting, the group said in a statement.
The move makes ICH the second international regulatory harmonization body in the last twelve months to take initiatives to reduce the input of the life science industry in the harmonization process. The Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) recently decided to wind down its activities and reconstitute itself as a regulator-only body known as the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF).
ICH - “ICH Parties Agree on New Principles of Governance”