According to the FDA, the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) fosters international harmonization in the regulation of medical devices. Regulatory and industry authorities from Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America collaborate to encourage the harmonization of regulatory practices to ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of medical devices.
The GHTF was founded in 1992 and its main purpose is to standardize medical device regulations around the world by the exchange of information. Some of the benefits of the standardization are the convergence in regulatory practices related to ensuring safety and facilitating international trade.
On November 11, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Cuba’s regulatory agencies agreed to work in cooperation, through the inspection of manufacturers of medical devices in each country. The Brazilian regulatory agency (ANVISA) requires a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification from medical devices manufacturers, and the inspection is conducted by the agency itself. From January of 2013 the GMP certification issued by the Argentinean, Colombian, and Cuban agencies will be accepted in Brazil as well, which means more efficiency in the certification process.