Written by Dr Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)HPN December 2021 Digital – page 19, 20
Excelling in Health Product Regulation
The Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect every facet of life in Ireland, and around the world, during the last year.
Unfortunately, we are all too well aware of the awful effects and devastation caused by Covid-19. As the impact of the pandemic became clear, we witnessed direct and almost instant responses from the global scientific community.
At the 2019 there was the emergence of an unknown infectious disease. Now we have the development of safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics within a year. There are billions of doses administered across the globe.
That is phenomenal progress, and could only have been achieved by the incredible dedication of so many key stakeholders. This includes biomedical researchers, medicines regulators, the pharmaceutical industry and indeed clinical trial volunteers.
The HPRA was an active participant in this global response. This is through both our work at the EMA and contribution to international efforts coordinating, streamlining regulatory processes and decision-making.
Of course, the development of safe and effective vaccines is only part of the process; we still needed an efficient and agile national Covid-19 vaccination strategy. This is to facilitate the rollout of vaccines that would substantially reduce the impact of the pandemic; combined with non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Compared to last year, we are certainly in a different position at the end of 2021
The authorisation of safe, effective vaccines, combined with the incredible rate of uptake in Ireland, helped protect our communities. It has been supported by all partners across the national health system
It has also demonstrated the value of an effective and agile regulatory approach.
The HPRA continues to contribute to the national, European and indeed global pandemic response. We will also work towards achieving our ambitious strategic goals and objectives. This is to excel in health product regulation through science, collaboration and innovation.
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