Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG)
Launched in 2012, the Vector Control Advisory Group (VCAG) on New Tools was established to assess the public health value of new product classes in vector control.
VCAG guides innovators in data and documentation requirements, and advises WHO on the public health value of new tools, technologies and approaches. This advisory group was jointly established by the Global Malaria Programme and the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Role of VCAG
For each new product class or variant not yet recognized by WHO and for which there is no WHO policy recommendation (1) , VCAG will provide a recommendation to WHO on the evidence required to substantiate the claim(s) and will advise on the evaluation methods needed to generate these data. VCAG’s role will depend on how advanced the evidence is to support a new vector control tool, technology or approach.
The VCAG has the following functions:
- To conduct an initial review of concept and determine data required to a) validate the product class, claim or variation and to b) support formulation of a WHO policy recommendation.
- To advise on the process to generate the required data
- To assess the evidence for new vector control tools / approaches (periodically as required)
- To develop or refine the Target Product Profiles;
- To establish public health value and provide recommendations to guide policy development.
Scope of VCAG evaluation
Products belonging to a class and/or having a product claim (or claims) for which there is no applicable WHO policy recommendation will be referred to VCAG. These products are assessed for their potential public health value, which will require epidemiological data on their protective efficacy against infection and/or disease.
What is a product class?
In vector control, a category of intervention that shares a common entomological mechanism of action to reduce human infection or disease. It requires epidemiological evidence of efficacy as a proof of principle to confirm the product claim of reducing infection or disease. Every new product claim in an established product class should indicate under what condition(s) it is meant to be deployed and mention its benefits and risks, if any.
What is a NEW product class?
A product class is considered ‘new’ if it does not have an existing applicable WHO policy recommendation. Validation of the public health value of a new product class involves entomological and epidemiological evaluation.
(1): New applications will be screened to determine if they qualify for VCAG assessment, based on letter of intent, claims and alignment with WHO disease programme policies.