Industry Bosses Call for Swift Action on EMA Relocation

May 4, 2017
Philip Ward

Philip Ward is ACT's European editor, phone +44 1244 538583, philipward1@btconnect.com

In an open letter issued this week, the heads of research and development from several big pharma companies and the EFPIA have demanded a quick decision on the relocation of the EMA.

In an open letter issued this week, the heads of research and development from several big pharma companies and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have demanded a quick decision on the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The letter praises the work of the EMA, but urges its Council to conduct its deliberations on the agency’s relocation “on the basis of very essential criteria” and reach a decision as early on as possible, preferably at its meeting in June 2017.

According to the authors, “It is a stark and alarming reality that such fundamental activities would undoubtedly be impeded were the operations of the agency to be disrupted as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. To put it concisely: in the event of obstruction or failure, Europe possesses no backup option.”

A fundamental requirement for the new location of the EMA is world-class connectivity, they continued.

“This is a critical building block if the agency is to ensure that it is capable of managing and accommodating the 36,000 expert visits that it must facilitate currently on an annual basis, in addition to a plethora of regulatory exchanges with the global pharmaceutical industry,” the letter reads. “Equally important will be excellent transport links (international, regional and local transport), a building that is geared towards allowing the EMA to host the vast number of essential expert meetings it organizes every year, and a location that is capable of furnishing a large number of hotel rooms.”

The authors emphasize the need to retain highly competent staff. Urgent consideration must be given to employees’ housing needs, access to international/European schools for staff with children, and employment opportunities for spouses/partners.

“Were a rapid resolution on the future location of the EMA not to materialize, or if the future seat of the EMA were to fail in terms of establishing its minimum prerequisites, the quality of its work and the future of the European Medicines Regulatory Network would be placed in jeopardy. The extent of the severe and significant negative repercussions for public and animal health in Europe would be indeterminable,” they wrote.

For a full copy of the letter, click here.

Philip Ward is the European Editor for Applied Clinical Trials

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