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EMA 'road map' to 2015 launched

The European Medicines Agency launches 'road map' to 2015 as its executive director is to step down and the work programme 2011 is adopted

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced the launch of its 'road map' to 2015 – following on from the agency's first five year strategy plan spanning 2005 to 2010.

The new plan identifies three priority areas for the agency to focus on: addressing needs in public health; facilitating access to medicines; and making sure use of medicines is safe.

A public consultation on the 'road map' was held in the first half of 2010, with responses gathered from 71 stakeholders. These included institutions in the EU, as well as healthcare professionals and the pharmaceutical industry.

The five-year plan will not be overseen by current EMA executive director, Thomas Lönngren who will step down from the position after 10 years on December 31, 2010.

Prior to his role with the EMA, Lönngren served as director of operations for pre- and post-authorisation of medicines at the Swedish Medical Products Agency where he later became deputy director-general.

The agency also announced its work programme for 2011, which predicts a 'stable' number of marketing authorisation applications for medicines over the year.

A total of 97 applications are expected, compared to 95 in 2010. According to the EMA, there will be 40 applications for new medicines for human use, 12 applications for new orphan medicines, and 42 generic applications.

Overall budget for the year will increase by 0.23 per cent to €208.9m, although the special orphans medicines fund provided by the EU has been reduced by almost half from €8.2m to €4.9m.

There will be no increase in the number of staff the agency employs, with posts fixed at 567 temporary agents.

23rd December 2010

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