[US EPA. December 21, 2023]. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new program, the Vector Expedited Review Voucher (VERV) Program, to incentivize companies to develop novel or unique mosquito control products to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and Zika. The Agency is required to implement this program under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2022 (known as “PRIA 5”).
Mosquito-borne diseases are among the world’s leading causes of illness and death and pose a significant risk to people in the United States. Controlling mosquitos is challenging, especially because many are developing resistance to currently registered insecticides. To address this risk, EPA is implementing the VERV Program to encourage the registration of new insecticides that use different mechanisms to control mosquitoes than currently registered insecticides. Controlling these mosquitoes is important to public health, particularly in densely populated areas that often contain overburdened and vulnerable communities.
Under the VERV Program, EPA will issue a voucher to the registrant of a new, qualifying pesticide product for mosquito control when it is successfully registered. An applicant may then redeem this voucher when submitting a future application for a different product under one of the specified PRIA codes. EPA will then expedite its review of the application, potentially allowing a shorter time to market for the product involved. Once issued, vouchers may be sold or transferred to other registrants.
Any application for a product seeking a voucher must meet the following criteria:
- Prevent, kills, mitigates, or repels pyrethroid or other insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.
- Use a novel or unique mechanism that is different from other insecticides already registered by EPA.
- Target mosquitoes capable of spreading such diseases as malaria, dengue, Zika, chikungunya, St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern and Western equine encephalitis, and yellow fever.
- Be made accessible for use in the United States, including territories or possessions of the United States, and countries where mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, are prevalent.
- Broaden the adoption of integrated pest management strategies, such as insecticide resistance management, or makes those strategies more effective.
- Not be contained in any pesticide product registered by the Agency as of the date of the enactment of PRIA 5 or does not contain an active ingredient approved in the 2-year period preceding the date of registration by any global authority for the same uses.
Vouchers issued under the VERV Program may be redeemed to shorten the statutory decision review time of a future pesticide application submitted under the following PRIA codes:
- New active ingredient; food use (PRIA category R010); review time reduced by six months.
- New active ingredient; food use; reduced risk (PRIA category R020); review time reduced by six months.
- New active ingredient; non-food use; outdoor use; reduced risk (PRIA category R060); review time reduced by six months.
- New active ingredient; non-food use; indoor (PRIA category R110); review time reduced by six months.
- New active ingredient; non-food use; outdoor; reduced risk (PRIA category R070); review time reduced by four months.
- New active ingredient, non-food use; indoor; reduced risk (PRIA category R120); review time reduced by two months.
For more information about the VERV Program, visit EPA’s webpage.