Philippines Accelerates Review and Approval of Sought-After Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals

Moving to speed the approval of needed pharmaceuticals, the Philippines health authorities are making it possible to register some vaccines, biologicals, and other drugs for sale in the archipelago nation if they have already met approval requirements abroad.

The order issued in October by the Filipino Department of Health does not completely exempt applicable pharmaceutical products from review by regulators in the Philippines. But it permits them to undergo shorter, less cumbersome processes than have been required in the past.

Under the terms of the order, drugs, vaccines, or biological products approved by one eligible foreign regulatory agency are entitled to undergo a shortened review process by the Philippines authorities. Drugs, vaccines, or biologicals approved by two such agencies do not have to be independently fully reviewed again in the Philippines. The FDA simply verifies the legitimacy of the prior approval. And drugs, vaccines, or biologicals approved through collaborative processes with international organizations recognized by the US FDA, like the World Health Organization, can move directly to approval.