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Stakeholders call for more transparent meetings between pharma and EMA

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Public health organisations and EU lawmakers say the closed-door meetings before the submission of a new drug between the pharma industry and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a key player in the continent’s healthcare industry, should be more transparent.

On the other hand, the pharmaceutical sector says the EMA has established sufficient safeguards to ensure assessments are unbiased.

Pre-submission activities include meetings between the EMA and drug developers to inform them about scientific advice and procedural requirements before the Agency receives applications for marketing authorisations from them.

It is widely recognised that the added value of these meetings is significant considering that they help the development of high-quality, effective and acceptably safe medicines, the European Ombudsman recently stressed.

However, in these meetings business information is shared and, therefore, few things go public. For this reason, public health stakeholders claim that more transparency is needed in the process to bring an end to the “closed-doors” logic.

The issue was discussed at the “How long is the arm of Big Pharma?” event last week in the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Dennis De Jong, an MEP from the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL).

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