INFARMED's organizational structure was praised last Friday, May 7th, at the meeting of the European Innovation Network (INNO), which gathered around 80 participants. During the meeting, held under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, INFARMED presented on the importance of having different responsibilities and competences in the same institution, with knowledge sharing on the phases of development, counseling, evaluation and monitoring, thus allowing a better follow-up and (re)evaluation during the life cycle of medicines or medical devices.
The presentation was welcomed by participants from the EU member states' medicines agencies and was seen as "good practice" and an example of the synergy of knowledge of collaborators within the institution.
The meeting served as an opportunity for participants to learn about the progress of some innovative projects underway. One of the projects evaluated was STARS, which aims to leverage the work of university researchers in order to accelerate the clinical application of the results of academic research in this area. This project is being developed by a consortium of 21 partners from 18 EU Member States, including INFARMED.
Participants also had the opportunity to receive an update on the ongoing negotiations promoted by the Portuguese Presidency on the legislative proposal on health technology assessment. The network members were informed about the possibility that the negotiation with the European Parliament may be concluded during the Portuguese Presidency. The INFARMED representative mentioned some of the adjustments and changes that the future regulation - which had been blocked for about 3 years - will bring to the level of collaboration between Member States in health technology assessment.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for all those responsible for the Network to present the lessons learned in the course of fighting the pandemic and the impact that this experience will have on the future.The European Commission attended the meeting to identify how the new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, approved late last year, aims to promote and facilitate innovation.
The Secretary of State for Health, Diogo Serras Lopes, spoke at the meeting's kick-off to highlight the importance of innovation in Health. The politician stated that the great disruptive advances in Health are those that allow greater access to medicines and medical devices" and proposed to participants a greater effort in cooperation, communication and information sharing: "We must be persistent in our collaboration", concluded.
The President of INFARMED, Rui Santos Ivo, challenged the Network to find new mechanisms to "support innovators" through a "closer collaboration with national entities linked to innovation.
Rui Santos Ivo also highlighted the importance of "strengthening cooperation with universities".INNO is a group composed by four groups: Scientific Advice Working Party (SAWP), EU-Innovation Network (EU-IN), Clinical Trials Facilitation and Coordination Group (CTFG), European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA), which are involved in providing scientific advice and/or regulatory guidance for innovative technologies.
INFARMED is responsible for coordinating, until the end of June, a set of 20 meetings of several Committees and Working Groups.