Essential medicines and health products

Move of vector control products evaluation to Prequalification team is now finalized and official

Pesticides used in vector control were one of the first product types evaluated by WHO. The WHO Programme for the Evaluation and Testing of New Insecticides was established as part of the Intensified Medical Research Programme, whose plan was approved in principle by the World Health Assembly in 1959. Over the years, the Programme for the Evaluation and Testing of New Insecticides has undergone significant organizational changes that have affected its functions, activities and phases, as well as collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other partners. As a result of one of these reforms, in 1982, the Programme was renamed the WHO Pesticide Evaluation scheme (WHOPES).

In 2014, WHO made the decision that the responsibility for the evaluation of pesticide-based vector control products under WHOPES would be transferred to the Prequalification Team. That decision was to ensure that the approach to evaluation of these products is aligned with other health products and focuses on a product lifecycle approach. This includes a pre-market scientific evaluation of safety, quality and efficacy and post market updating of product information, monitoring and surveillance when the product is used in the real world and routine inspections of manufacturing facilities.

The new prequalification approach for vector control products aims to incorporate best practices from WHOPES and other regulatory authorities responsible for evaluating pesticides, as well as experience gained from the other WHO prequalification streams, which assess for safety, quality and efficacy of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

UPDATE on WHO evaluation of vector control products

  • The transition of the WHO evaluation for vector control products from WHOPES to the Prequalification Team (PQT-Vector Control) was completed in June 2018. Since then, the process for the evaluation of vector control products, including a pathway for new innovative vector control products, has been initiated and a number of actions have been put in place to support and enable this process,
  • PQ-Vector Control Team is established. The team includes a Group Lead , two product case managers, a product chemist , an entomologist and administrative support.
  • A group of experts has been established with expertise in product chemistry, toxicology, entomology and material science. This group is responsible for the assessment of data to support the applications for prequalification of vector control products. The group has met 4 times since the first meeting in November, 2017.
  • Roles and responsibilities of all WHO Departments involved in vector control evaluation, ie., PQ, GMP and NTD has been established and the ToR of the Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) has been revised to focus on providing recommendations on the public health value of new innovative vector control products before these products are assessed for safety, quality and efficacy through the PQ process.
  • A review by WHO on policy making and dissemination has been launched and includes looking at the interface between scientific evaluation and public health value determination (policy/normative guidance) for vector control and other products.
  • The conversion of products which had a WHOPES recommendation to a prequalification listing was completed in June 2018 and included all products which met the scientific criteria for the conversion.
  • A PQ-VC website has been developed and includes key information about the PQ-VC programme as well as information to assist manufacturers prepare applications for prequalification, the standard documentation to use, guidance documents and information on what is considered an appropriate dossier format.
  • PQT-Vector Control has assumed responsibility as co-secretariat of the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Specifications (JMPS). This meeting is responsible for setting the specifications for the manufacture of product formulations.
  • To date PQT-VC has converted 71 products from WHOPES recommendations to listings, prequalified 6 products through PQ evaluation and 16 products are currently under assessment.
  • A number of post market activities have been initiated and include a label improvement plan, re-evaluation of specific older chemicals used in prequalified products and a complaint procedure has also been developed and is now implemented.

Should you require more information concerning the WHO evaluation of vector control products, we invite you to visit the PQ-VC website or contact the PQT-VC directly by email to the general mailbox .