Need for Accelerated Registration of Safe Drugs is Gradually Being Understood in West, RDIF CEO Says

Sputnik, 28.08.2020

Earlier, the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund stated that more than 10 countries are currently pursuing fast-track registrations of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev has welcomed the UK's decision to revise its law and allow emergency use of any effective coronavirus vaccine before it's fully licensed, if it meets the required safety and quality standards.

"The need for mechanisms for accelerated registration of safe and effective drugs during a pandemic is gradually being understood in the West. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke about the intention to amend local legislation today, although a few days ago the British media and experts spoke extremely negatively about the decision of the Russian Ministry of Health to register the world's first coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V", Dmitriev said.

He revealed that more than 10 RDIF partner-countries are studying Russia's experience with accelerated registration of drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus with proven safety based on proven solutions, such as the human adenoviruses used in the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

"We welcome the desire of partners and are ready to consult with all countries striving to protect their residents and return to economic growth as soon as possible", the RDIF CEO noted.

While the licensing period can take up to several months, under the new regulation a vaccine can receive an emergency approval to start immunising people as soon as possible.

"If we develop effective vaccines, it’s important we make them available to patients as quickly as possible, but only once strict safety standards have been met", Jonathan Van-Tam, Britain’s deputy chief medical officer, said as quoted by the Associated Press.

However, this measure will be used as a last resort if there is a pressing public health justification. The government has started three-week consultations and the measure could be introduced as early as October.

Moreover, the authorities have stated that they will be increasing the number of health workers capable of administering vaccines.

As of Friday, more than 41,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the UK – the highest count in Europe.

On 11 August, the Russian government officially registered Sputnik V as the world's first vaccine against COVID-19.

Although the vaccine is still going through the third - and last - phase of clinical trials, as per the protocols of the World Health Organisation, Russian health officials have said it has proven that it has the capability to produce stable immunity against the coronavirus.