Health chief tours Swiss firms

May 30, 2024

Secretary for Health Prof Lo Chung-mau, along with a delegation he is leading, departed Geneva yesterday for Basel, Switzerland, where he visited multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare companies Novartis and Roche.
While meeting the pharmaceutical groups' senior management, Prof Lo learnt about the latest developments in the research and development of drugs, as well as reimagining medicine by using innovative science and technology.


The delegation also visited Novartis Pavillon which illustrates the past, present, and future of medicine, healthcare and sciences in a digital and interactive manner to promote the popularisation of science and technology.
At the meetings, Prof Lo highlighted the initiatives put forward by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in developing Hong Kong into a health and medical innovation hub, including strengthening the regulatory and approval regimes of drugs and medical devices as well as promoting the development of a clinical trial industry.
He pointed out that the Hong Kong SAR Government scored certain achievements last year, including formal acceptance by the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use as its observer and the implemention of the new drug approval mechanism, the “1+” mechanism.
“The Hong Kong SAR Government will set up the preparatory office for the Hong Kong Centre for Medical Products Regulation (CMPR) in the first half of this year to study the restructuring and strengthening of the regulatory and approval regime for drugs, medical devices and technologies, and put forward proposals and steps for establishing the CMPR which will be a step towards the transition to the “primary evaluation” approach.”
Moreover, the health chief stressed that the Hong Kong SAR Government will establish the Greater Bay Area International Clinical Trial Institute in the Hetao area by the end of this year to provide one-stop clinical trial support services.
Prof Lo encouraged pharmaceutical firms in Switzerland to leverage the “1+” mechanism to introduce new drugs to Hong Kong, and take advantage of the measure of using Hong Kong-registered drugs and medical devices used in Hong Kong public hospitals in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to benefit patients in Mainland cities there.
He also called on Swiss pharmaceutical firms to conduct clinical trials in Hong Kong to promote the translation and clinical application of advanced biomedical technologies.

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