SAUDI ARABIA – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ready to host an annual international conference focused on medical devices regulation at the Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel & Convention organized by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA).

In a press release, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority announced that it is hosting the 26th Global Harmonization Working Party (GHWP) and Technical Committees in Riyadh from 13th February to 16th February 2023.

SFDA said that the four-day event is expected to bring together regulatory authorities, medical devices industries, and relevant bodies in medical devices regulation from all health sectors operating in the Kingdom.

The GHWP meeting will discuss regulatory developments in medical devices and technological developments associated with the industry, including the role of artificial intelligence, emerging technologies, medical software, and medical biotechnology,” the Saudi regulator informed.

In addition, the 2023 GHWP meeting will be an ideal opportunity to enhance the harmonization and convergence in medical devices regulation between countries across the world.

The forthcoming event will be a major platform for diverse stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to develop regulatory systems and legislation for medical devices in accordance with international best practices.

Furthermore, the GHWP annual meeting will be an opportunity for the medical device regulatory authorities in countries around the world to learn and benefit from international knowledge, experience and systems that member countries at the event are offering.

GHWP is a group of experts from the medical device regulatory authorities and the medical device industry. Its goals are to study and recommend ways to harmonize medical device regulations globally.

It works in coordination with the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF), a voluntary group of medical device regulators from around the world who have come together to build on the strong foundational work of the Global Harmonization Task Force on Medical Devices (GHTF).

It includes 33 regulatory authorities namely Saudi Arabia, China, United States of America, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In addition, the organization has ties with a number of consultants with regulatory experience from the United States, Europe and Japan are working with the organization.

Its working groups focus on preparing legislative regulations that govern the medical device industry for new and emerging technologies, from the stage conceptualization up to clinical trials and post-market surveillance.

Subsequently, the 2023 edition of GHWP will help emerging countries to build their regulatory systems and benefit from the different experiences of the members of the organization.

On his part, Eng. Ali Al-Dalaan, GHWP chair, who is Executive Vice President of SFDA’s medical devices sector, said: “Our member countries are keen to support countries that may not have a strong medical device regulatory regime in place.”

He outlined that the event is an opportunity for non-member countries to gain regulatory insights as well as build new relationships and forge stronger relationships with their global peers, adding that the organization has different collaboration channels with renowned international partners.

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