Global extension of Japanese medical products related to COVID-19: A survey of WHO Emergency Use Listing

Wakabayashi M, Ichimura Y, Shimizu E, Nishioka T, Kono Y, Doi M, Egami Y, Kadowaki T, Iso H, Fujita N


The World Health Organization (WHO) has been utilizing Emergency Use Listing (EUL) to expand access to medical products during the COVID-19 pandemic. EUL is a risk-based procedure for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, medicine, and in vitro diagnostics. To determine whether Japanese medical products acquired EUL relating to COVID-19, we conducted desk research as a part of a new project. Results showed that thirteen of twenty-eight in vitro diagnostic products were from China and three of ten vaccines on EUL were from India. However, only one vaccine manufactured in Japan was on EUL. A common weakness of Japanese companies in the global public procurement market was a lack of knowledge on qualification systems for medical products. We hypothesized holistic approaches from private companies and systematic supports from public sectors are required for a response to an emergency. These activities could lead to contribute to global health issues through sustainable businesses.

KEYWORDS: global public procurement, vaccines, medicine, in vitro diagnostics, public-private partnership, international cooperation

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