Guidance

Access Consortium

The MHRA is part of the Access Consortium along with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Health Canada, Health Sciences Authority of Singapore and Swissmedic.

The consortium is a medium-sized coalition of regulatory authorities that work together to promote greater regulatory collaboration and alignment of regulatory requirements.

The original consortium, formed in 2007 and known as ‘ACSS’, comprised the national regulatory authorities of Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland. In October 2020, the MHRA joined, and the group’s name was changed to ‘Access’. The MHRA will commence work-sharing applications with Access partners from 1 January 2021.

The consortium’s goal is to maximise international co-operation between partners in the consortium, reduce duplication, and increase each agency’s capacity to ensure patients have timely access to high quality, safe and effective therapeutic products.

The trend towards globalisation of therapeutic products industries and the rapid emergence of new technologies in the last decade accompanied with shared global challenges have created an increased need for regulatory bodies to co-operate and communicate with each other routinely. This maximises the use of up-to-date technical expertise, and ensures a consistent, contemporary approach to assessing the benefits and risks associated with the use of therapeutic products.

Access heads of agencies

The heads of the five agencies usually meet twice a year face-to-face in the margins of international meetings or conferences to review progress of the Access working groups and approve the work program for the upcoming year.

Terms of Reference (PDF, 50.9 KB, 5 pages)

Access Strategic Plan 2021-2024

The Access Consortium heads of agencies have developed the Access Strategic Plan for 2021-2024. This plan will guide us toward enhanced efficiency of our national regulatory systems, while optimising synergies and alignment between regulatory authorities and reducing duplication for industry.

Access Strategic Plan 2021-2024 (PDF, 517 KB, 4 pages)

Access working groups

Currently, the Access Consortium has a number of working groups in place including the:

  • New Active Substances Working Group
  • Generic Medicines Working Group
  • Biosimilars Working Group
  • Complementary Health Products Working Group
  • Collaboration on International Council for Harmonization (ICH) Working Group
  • IT Architecture Working Group

Access Consortium working group members have regular meetings to exchange information on regulatory issues and challenges faced by the participating regulatory agencies including issues on clinical trials, marketing authorisations, product manufacturing site inspections, post-marketing surveillance, joint development of technical guidelines or regulatory standards, and collaboration on information platforms.

Work Sharing Procedures

The Access consortium has developed 3 authorisation procedures: the New Active Substance and Biosimilar Work Sharing Initiatives and the Generic Medicine Work Sharing Initiative.

Additional information

Information regarding the Access consortium can be found:

Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA): Access Consortium

Health Canada: Access Consortium

Swissmedic: Access Consortium

Health Science Authority: Access Consortium

Published 10 December 2020
Last updated 22 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Addition of Access Strategic Plan 2021-2024

  2. First published.