The aim of the study was to evaluate the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) centralized regulatory review process. Regulatory review times—including submission and application dates for new active substances (NASs) and existing active substances (EASs) using a standardized template for the period of 2006 to 2010—were collected directly from the GCC office located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A total of 413 products (96 NASs and 317 EASs) were approved during the period, with an overall significant increase in the EASs (P < .001). The median approval times increased from 107 calendar days in 2006 to 265 in 2010 (P < .001). The lowest approval time was for EASs submitted by the Gulf companies (134 days) and the longest for NASs submitted by international companies (346 days) (P < .001). These data were also analyzed according to therapeutic classes and dosage forms. The results also showed that the lowest number (n ¼ 16) approved during the period was in 2010, and this was due to a major regulatory change implementing the International Conference on Harmonisation product stability guideline for the region. The findings indicate that the delay and the wide range in approval times could be reduced by utilizing a standard assessment template for product review and the implementation of a clock stop system for company responses to questions from the GCC central registration committee. Furthermore, using information technology tools would speed up the registration process rather than the manual exchange of product registration files between the executive office and the member states.

Al-Rubaie, M.H., Walker, S.R. & Salek, S.S. Evaluation of the Gulf Cooperation Council Centralized Procedure: The Way Forward. Ther Innov Regul Sci 48, 709–716 (2014).