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Vector Expedited Review Voucher (VERV) stakeholder event held in Washington DC

20th March 2024
Vector Expedited Review Voucher (VERV) stakeholder event held in Washington DC

Duke University and US Government relations firm DC Legislative and Regulatory Services co-sponsored a Vector Expedited Review Voucher (VERV) stakeholder event in Washington DC on 28th February, 2024.  The purpose of the meeting was to explain and discuss the December 2023 Pesticide Registration (PR) notice published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the VERV program.

Held at the Duke University’s “Duke in DC” office on Pennsylvania Avenue, the event was attended by the EPA, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), the agrochemical industry and other private and public sector organisations, including the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA).  All are stakeholders in the development of innovative vector control tools to support malaria eradication.

Jeff Moe, adjunct professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, and a co-author of the 2017 Health Affairs article which proposed VERV, opened the event by reflecting on the successful introduction of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Priority Review Voucher (PRV) programme in 2007: “PRV had a positive impact on the development of treatments with limited profitability for neglected tropical diseases. The VERV programme can, like PRV, stimulate the development of innovative vector control solutions to help us better control, and hopefully eradicate, diseases such as malaria.”

Chris Larkin, Director of Operations and Communications at IVCC, who took part in a panel session, added: “Incentives like the VERV program are needed to ensure that innovative vector control tools are developed and made available with new modes of action to help address the threat of insecticide resistance which is critical for the fight against diseases such as malaria which still claim over 600,000 lives every year.”

Participants heard from EPA representatives including Susan Jennings (Senior Advisor for Public Health, Office of Pesticide Programs), Stephen Scheibel (Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Coordinator,) and Billy Smith (Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs).  They described the operation of the VERV program including the eligibility criteria to receive a VERV award.  Jennings explained that to be eligible for a voucher, active ingredients must demonstrate efficacy against insecticide-resistant mosquitos (per efficacy guidelines), have a novel or unique mechanism different from other insecticides already registered by the agency for mosquito control, and target mosquitos which transmit disease.

Jennings added that, whilst active ingredients must not be contained in any EPA registered pesticide product, a registrant may petition the EPA to issue a voucher for a repurposed agricultural insecticide by demonstrating a significant public health benefit.

Jennings also highlighted that any novel mode of action will be assessed on case by basis by the Office of Pesticide Program (OPP) through the consideration of factors such as:

  • The mechanism targets new or different receptors
  • The pesticide is in a new or different chemical class classification by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee
  • The mechanism uses special approach such as interrupting behaviour, targeting different life stages, or prohibiting reproduction.

Full details of the EPA VERV program can be found at:


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