INVIMA Requirements for a Pharmaceutical Drug Clinical Trial Approval


We will can assist you in submitting your pharmaceutical or biotechnology drug study protocol approval application. Learn about the requirements for an investigational medical device clinical trial

Our US and Colombia-based team will assist you in gathering the necessary documentation, translating it to local Colombian Spanish —by an official translator certified by Colombia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs—, completing and submitting the application to INVIMA (National Institute of Food and Medicine Surveillance or Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos in Spanish).

Prior to submission to INVIMA, the research protocol must be sent to a local ethics committee. Each local committee has its own scheduling and processing times.

The committee’s approval will be delivered in writing and the information included in that document depends on each committee’s procedures. Once the authorization is obtained, the document must be included in the application submitted to INVIMA. If the local ethics committee rejects the application, the clinical trial cannot be conducted, and the application cannot be submitted to INVIMA.

All research on human beings shall be evaluated and approved by the local ethics committee affiliated to the site where the trial will be conducted. The committee must evaluate the protocol, the informed consent form, all information known on the medical investigational product (including reports of unexpected adverse events) and all potential advertising planned to obtain participants.

The INVIMA approval will authorize the sponsor's local legal representative in Colombia to the following: 

  1. The conduct of the clinical trial

  2. The centers and investigators

  3. The importation of the investigational drugs

  4. Biological material and other devices and supplies required by the study

  5. The export of biological material to an external laboratory

The Drug Information Association (DIA) has a useful presentation that outlines Colombia's regulations and features titled "Hands-on the Regulations in Colombia."



INVIMA List of Requirements for Trial Approval

  1. Document checklist form: ASS-RSA-FM046

  2. Protocol evaluation form: ASS-RSA-FM055

  3. Clinical research protocol (in English and Spanish). It must include:

    1. Title

    2. Summary

    3. Scientific justification

    4. Justification and use of results (objectives, applicability)

    5. Primary, secondary endpoints, and duration of endpoints

    6. Theoretical background and framework (argumentation, hypothesis). The intent of this framework is to facilitate communication between researchers and stakeholders in conceptualizing the research problem and the design of a study (or a program of research involving a series of studies) in order to maximize the potential that new knowledge will be created from the research with results that can inform decision making. To do this, research results must be relevant, applicable, unbiased and sufficient to meet the evidentiary threshold for decision making or action by stakeholders. In order for the results to be valid and credible, all persons involved must be committed to protecting the integrity of the research from bias and conflicts of interest. Most importantly, the study must be designed to protect the rights, welfare, and well-being of subjects involved in the research.

  4. Research objectives (general and specific)

  5. Methodology (operationalization, type and study design, universe, power calculation, analysis and observation unit, inclusion and exclusion criteria, description of the intervention, procedures to capture information, tools and methods for data quality control, procedures to guarantee the ethical conduct of the study, characteristics of the placebo application.

  6. Data analysis plan: Methods and modeling for data analysis according to the variables, software to be used for data analysis.

  7. Patient information sheet

  8. Change control section

  9. Data capture tools

  10. Questionnaires

  11. Patient ID cards

  12. Bibliographic references

  13. Study project timeline

  14. Study budget

  15. Attachments

  16. Local ethics committee approval letter

  17. Insurance policy certificate

    1. Protocol name

    2. Investigator(s) name

    3. Site name and address

    4. Valid during the duration of the study (at least two years is recommended)

    5. List of adverse events that it covers (description of the AE's that will be covered, which ones will not, in what instances, etc.)

    6. Issued by a local Colombian or foreign insurance agency

  18. Investigator's brochure

  19. Informed consent (general, biological and genetic) and assent (if applicable) —according to Article 15 and 16, Ministry of Health’s Resolution No. 8430 of 1993). INVIMA form ASS-RSAFM048.

  20. Good Manufacturing Practice Certificate (duly apostilled with its accompanying official translation to Spanish).

  21. Product shelf life (results on the product stability studies that support its shelf life and a certification of analysis of the product lot that will be tested). INVIMA form ASS-RSA-FM088.

  22. Product labeling

  23. Product importation documents

    1. Free sale certificate from the country of origin (or its equivalent for drugs, medical devices, biomedical equipment, and diagnostic reactives)

    2. Authorization from INVIMA's Health Supplies Group to import used biomedical equipment (if applicable)

  24. GCP-certified clinical research site presentation form: ASS-RSA-FM050

  25. Principal investigator presentation form: ASS-RSA-FM051. A separate form must be completed for a co-investigator

  26. Principal investigator CV (and co-investigator when applicable)

    1. Copy of principal investigator(s) bachelor's degree certificate and diploma

    2. Copy of principal investigator(s) graduate degree certificate and diploma

    3. Copy of principal investigator(s) medical license

    4. Copy of principal investigator(s) Colombian National ID card

    5. Copy of principal investigator(s) GCP training certificate

    6. Letter signed by the principal investigator(s) stating that he/she will comply with international guidelines for the conduct of clinical trials

Source: INVIMA's Drug Committee new clinical research protocols page (in Spanish). INVIMA form ASS-RSA-GU030.


Approval Process


INVIMA's Drugs and Biological Products Committee (Sala Especializada de Medicamentos y Productos Biológicos in Spanish) meets approximately every 30 days. It decides whether the protocol in question is approved or not and issues meeting minutes to notify the interested party, which is published on INVIMA’s official website.

Within the approval application, the interested party shall also include the import request for the investigational drug and all other necessary supplies to run the study, as well as the application to export biological samples to be evaluated by laboratories outside of Colombia.



Processing Time

The legislation does not provide a defined timeline for the review and approval of the clinical trial application. However, normally it takes about 60 days to assess and approve the application; the approval may take additional time if further documentation is requested. Protocol submissions must be sent to INVIMA's Drug and Biological Products Committee by the dates specified below. 



2019 Drug Committee Meeting Dates

See the dates at INVIMA's website (in Spanish).



Import Permit

A separate application for an import permit approval to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (VUCE office) —for each shipment— must be obtained to legally import the drugs and additional accessories named on the clinical supply list on the INVIMA submission. The average processing time is between 5 to 10 business days.