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BOGOTA: September 02, 2019. The Colombian National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute (Invima) has launched a new risk management system to strengthen its inspection, surveillance and control of medicines and medical devices that enter the country.

The new system, IVC SOA Puertos, will help Invima to assess the health risk of medicines and medical devices from the moment they enter the country, and focus its technical and human resources on inspecting those that represent the greatest risk. New post-clearance inspections will supplement existing spot-checks at pharmacies and hospitals, meaning medical products are checked before they reach consumers.

Cartagena ColombiaThe project has received technical support from the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF), an initiative to make trade simpler, faster and more cost-effective supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the UK and US.

The model has already proved successful in making Colombia border inspections of food and beverage more effective since its introduction in March 2018, as the frequency of physical inspections has fallen 30 percent while processing time for low-risk shipments is down from a day to just one to two hours.

Puertos uses mathematical and statistical methods to assess the risk level of shipments while facilitating traceability and tackling smuggling. The more the system is used, the more it generates intelligence in order to determine outcomes and reduce the time and cost for traders.

“By involving the private sector in the process, Invima has introduced greater protection to public health in Colombia in the most business-friendly way possible,” explained Philippe Isler, GATF director. “Consumers can trust that essential medicines and devices are safe, while compliant traders can expect physical post-clearance inspections of their goods to reduce over time as the system ‘learns’ of their compliance.

“We look forward to working with Invima and business in the coming months to see how the system is working and measure its impact. Invima and the Colombian government are taking great steps forward to facilitate international trade and bring its economic and social benefits to Colombia, and the Alliance is committed to supporting that agenda,” he added.

Pictured: Cartagena, Colombia

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