Politics / Law
EM(E)A updates, structure and URL
London – The European Medicines Agency (formerly EMEA, now EMA) reported in January that it is adapting its organisational structure to its increasing workload and interactions with patient and consumer organisations. Human pre- and post-authorisation activities have been unified into a single unit, a newly-created unit for patient health protection will be responsible for safety-monitoring of medicines, and a dedicated group for the management of product data and documentation will improve the Agency’s data-management processes. The organisational changes go hand-in-hand with the preparation of a new website to be launched by the end of Q2/2010, as well as a new logo. Additionally, the search is now formally open for the next head of the Agency, which employs more than 600 staff and has a 2010 budget of about EUR198m (2009: EUR194m). Current director Thomas Lönngren will step down at the end of this year. In January, the EMA Board proposed widening the scope of patient and consumer contributions to the Agency. One proposal was to define the conditions where it is meaningful to invite the representatives of various groups to participate in benefit-risk evaluations of medicines, or as observers in meetings of the Pharmacovigilance Working Party to help contribute to the Agency’s safety communications.