European Medicines Agency will set up a network to work with healthcare professionals

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a framework document for the interaction between the Agency and healthcare professionals. This document describes the objectives and the terms of reference for the Agency’s interaction with healthcare professionals in relation to medicines for human use.

With its Framework for interaction between the European Medicines Agency and healthcare professionals, the Agency aims at getting access to the best possible independent expertise in matters related to medicines and to contribute to more efficient and targeted communication to healthcare professionals. It will also help to enhance the understanding of the EU medicines regulatory network by healthcare professional organisations.

This document is called to give a structured answer to the gaps which still remain in the interaction with organisations representing healthcare professionals. The establishment of a network of European healthcare professionals’ organisations will allow the Agency to build up consistent and targeted interactions with a broad group of organisations across Europe with a diverse range of expertise and interests.

According to the framework, European Medicines Agency (EMA) will interact with organisations mainly centred on patient care as well as other associations such as learned and academic societies, focused on research activities, but which may have an interest in medicines and in the Agency’s work and which ultimately aim at a benefit for patients. Some criteria to be fulfilled by healthcare professionals’ organisations are established in order to ensure that the Agency establishes contact with the most suitable organisations representing European healthcare professionals in a transparent manner.

This framework takes into account the new legislation on pharmacovigilance and is flexible enough to adapt to future legislative proposals such as the one on information to patients. It was endorsed by the Management Board during its meeting held on December 2011. The work to be undertaken in the context of the Agency’s interaction with healthcare professionals’ organisations will be incorporated in the Agency’s annual Work Programme.