Medicines for Europe is very glad to see the Council of the European Union reach a decision today, to relocate the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam. This is an important milestone in the Brexit process, bringing us from a point of uncertainty to clarity concerning the future of the EMA and the important work it carries out for public health.

Of course, the real work starts now. Looking to the next steps in the process, we hope for a well elaborated relocation plan, which will provide certainty for both EMA staff and for the continuity of the work of the agency. In particular, we hope to see key EMA projects and coordination run smoothly, to avoid disruptions in pharmaceutical regulatory activities – ranging from the approval for marketing to the post-marketing surveillance of medicines. In this regard, we particularly look forward to the EMA continuing to implement important information technology projects like ISO-IDMP, and to lead the way on biosimilar medicines, both in the EU and globally. The pioneering work of the EMA on biosimilars in Europe has ensured that patient access to treatment has increased, and to let this, as well as other projects of the EMA, slip during relocation would have serious negative consequences.

Our primary concern is that now this decision has been taken, we as healthcare stakeholders now focus on continuing this work, which of course is paramount to ensuring supply and access to medicines for patients. We look forward to continuing this important work in Amsterdam, the new home of the EMA.