EMA looks to improve the availability of medicines in the EU

The task force set up by European Union (EU) regulators, which aims to address potential problems with medicines’ supply and avoid shortages, has published their work programme for the next two years (2019/20). The work programme contains actions for regulators and the industry to ensure the availability of medicines for the benefit of patients in the EU.

The task force was set up by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies, including representatives from the European Commission and the chairs of the Co-ordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures – Human (CMDh).

Priorities outlined in the task force include:

  • Minimising supply disruptions, and avoiding shortages by facilitating approval and marketing of medicines using the existing regulatory framework, for example by using work sharing.
  • Producing strategies to improve prevention and management of shortages that may be caused by disruptions in the supply chain.
  • Sharing of information and best practices between EU regulatory authorities to improve the coordination of actions across the EU.

A multi-stakeholder workshop will take place from 8-9th November 2018 to receive stakeholders’ perspectives on how to address availability issues.

It is likely that the United Kingdom leaving the EU in March 2019 will affect the availability of medicines in the EU. Therefore, the task forces provides a way to facilitate and coordinate actions between the European Commission, EMA and Member States.

To read more about the EU-wide task force work programme for 2019/20, please click here.