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Emergency Regulatory Procedures, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Politics, and the Political Economy of Vaccine Regulation in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Authors
  • Nachlis, Herschel1
  • Thomson, Kyle2
  • 1 Dartmouth College.
  • 2 Verily Life Sciences.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health politics, policy and law
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2024
Volume
49
Issue
1
Pages
73–98
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1215/03616878-10910278
PMID: 37522337
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Regulatory approaches to COVID-19 vaccine authorizations varied substantially across countries. Facing a common public health threat, what accounts for regulatory variation? This study focuses on emergency pharmaceutical and vaccine regulatory procedures and whether and how regulators' emergency pharmaceutical regulatory procedures going into the pandemic shaped regulatory processes and decisions during the pandemic. The authors conducted an analysis of seven high-impact national and international pharmaceutical regulators with case studies from Brazil, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Medicines Agency. The authors analyzed evidence from primary source executive and legislative branch regulations and statutes as well as national and international scientific and general press reporting; they also drew on the secondary analysis of scholars, practitioners, and international organizations. Inherited emergency pharmaceutical and vaccine regulatory procedures substantially shaped COVID-19 vaccine regulation during the pandemic. Variation in the presence and content of emergency regulatory procedures affected the quality of pandemic regulatory processes, outcomes, and procedural updates and differentially empowered policy-making experts and elected politicians. Emergency regulatory procedures affect key features of regulatory political economy and public health practices during crises. To improve future public health crisis responses, the authors provide policy recommendations for (1) establishing clear emergency pharmaceutical regulatory procedures, and (2) international collaboration. Copyright © 2024 by Duke University Press.

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