Introduction: A survey was conducted among national regulatory authorities’ members of the International Pharmaceutical Regulators Programme (IPRP) to collect and share experiences of reliance approaches. Reliance allows formally, or informally, one regulatory authority to use assessments made by other regulatory authorities while remaining responsible for the final decision. Reliance is an essential concept to increase the efficiency of the global regulatory oversight of medical products by national regulatory authorities.
Areas covered: This article describes the findings and recommendations from the IPRP survey. It shows that reliance in the area of medical product oversight is broadly accepted. The first part presents the acceptance and reasons for accepting reliance including the need for trust, then gives examples of the most common areas for reliance, and explains the difference between unilateral or reciprocal reliance. Finally, the article analyzes the lessons learned including challenges and opportunities for reliance on regulatory authorities to facilitate patient access in their jurisdictions.
Expert opinion: Regulatory reliance facilitates regulatory approvals and allows to use resources in a more efficient way and ultimately serves patients by facilitating earlier access to quality-assured, safe, and effective medicines.