Medicine Authorities of the EU meet under the Portuguese Presidency

Medicine Authorities of the EU meet under the Portuguese Presidency
February 18, 2021

INFARMED hosted this Thursday the fourth meeting in the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.  The event gathered the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA), which is comprised of the heads of the National Competent Authorities in the Medicines and Medical Devices area, and was attended by over 100 elements of different areas.

In the meeting a number of progress reports related to the fight against COVID-19 were presented. The meeting was also used for the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission to update the HMA on the progress made on the EU4Health Programme, as well the measures taken for the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, and the establishment of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), due to be operating by 2023. Finally, a state of play was presented about the implementation of veterinary legislation and the possible regulation of medical devices.

The minister for Health, Marta Temido, addressed the members of HMA at the start of the meeting to convey the message that Portugal regarded the Group as represent "one of the most important European Networks for the protection of Public Health". The minister mentioned its support to the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe and the enhancement of the role of EMA. 

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The president of INFARMED, Rui Santos Ivo, who chaired the meeting, stressed the need to "focus all of our attention to the COVID issues, given all its repercussions and needs in the scope of the Network"and announced the intention “to work closely with you all in order to address key issues related to the supply chain, reinforce EU strategic autonomy, production and supply capacity” and promised to “initiate the discussions on the proposal for a reinforced role for the EMA", which should hapen on short term.

A second meeting of the HMA Group is scheduled during the Portuguese Presidency. The HMA Group is a network of the heads of the organizations that are responsible for the regulation of medicinal products for human and veterinary use in the European Economic Area. The HMA co-operates with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission in the operation of the European medicines regulatory network and it is a unique model for cooperation and worksharing on statutory as well as voluntary regulatory activities. This event is part of a set of 20 meetings of several Committees and Working Groups that INFARMED will be holding during the next six months.

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