Background: The Brazilian health regulatory agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) has embarked on transformational initiatives to fulfill its mandate to provide timely access to safe, effective, and quality therapeutics. A new Brazilian law was enacted to provide the agency with greater flexibility. Optimizing Efficiencies in Regulatory Agencies (OpERA) is a regulatory-strengthening program that seeks to provide benchmarking data that can be used to define performance targets and focus performance improvement. The objective of this study was to use OpERA methodology to undertake a retrospective analysis of the timelines associated with important  components of the ANVISA regulatory review process to establish a baseline against which the influence of the new law could be measured.
Methods: The OpERA tool was used to collect specific milestone data that identify time periods, review stages, and data
points for products approved by ANVISA 2013–2016.
Results: For the 138 products approved in this cohort, the overall median approval time was 795 days. ANVISA and submitting companies will need to reduce their review and response times by approximately half in order to meet the total time goal of 365 days.
Conclusions: The observations from this baseline study have identified opportunities for ANVISA and sponsor companies to collaborate to reduce regulatory assessment times while assuring the timely approval of safe and effective, quality medicines. These analyses will be repeated to determine how the provisions of the new Law will impact the activities of ANVISA and the extent of sponsors’ contributions to this effort.