Liferiver Invited to Speak at Joint UNFPA‒UNICEF‒WHO Meeting 2017
Mr. Walter Zhang, the vice president of Liferiver, was invited to participate in the panel discussion at the session of Stimulating Introduction of New, Innovative In Vitro Diagnostics during Joint UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO meeting with manufacturers and suppliers of in vitro diagnostics, vaccines, finished pharmaceutical products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, contraceptive devices and vector control products, which was held at Copenhagen of Denmark during September 18~20.
As the only panelist representing IVD industry, Mr. Walter Zhang shared his views on this topic from the manufacturer's perspective. He thought WHO could play a leading role in driving regulatory harmonization because of its vantage position. Regulatory harmonization would free the manufacturers who could instead focus more on those value-added activities such as R&D and quality management as well as help those resource-limited countries who don't have robust regulatory systems yet.
On the other hand, Mr. Zhang expected WHO to help develop some kind of global specimen-sharing consortium. No access to clinical specimens--especially some rare specimens-- poses a great challenge to the timely introduction of new IVD assays. Zika was the recent example.
In reply to onsite audience's question of how to prevent UN agencies from awarding bids only on the merit of price while ignoring innovation benefit, Mr. Zhang believed that better communication was one of the key solutions. Through communication, all stakeholders, which include end users and buyers as well as donors, would understand the so-called innovations and understand whether the so-called innovations are relevant to them. Mr. Zhang was confident that relevant innovations, which are truly appreciated by stakeholders, would be able to command a premium.