The European Medicines Agency evaluates the safety of medicines for the benefit of public and animal health in the European Union (EU).
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|Formed||1 January 1995|
|Motto||Science. Medicines. Health.|
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a European Union agency for the evaluation of medicinal products. Prior to 2004, it was known as the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA).
Roughly parallel to the drug part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but without centralisation, the EMA was set up in 1995 with funding from the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as indirect subsidy from member states, in an attempt to harmonise (but not replace) the work of existing national medicine regulatory bodies. The hope was that this plan would not only reduce the €350 million annual cost drug companies incurred by having to win separate approvals from each member state but also that it would eliminate the protectionist tendencies of sovereign states unwilling to approve new drugs that might compete with those already produced by domestic drug companies. The EU is currently the source of about one-third of the new drugs brought onto the world market each year.
Based in London, the EMA was founded after more than seven years of negotiations among EU governments and replaced the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products and the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products, though both of these were reborn as the core scientific advisory committees. After the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union referendum it is yet unclear if the agency remains in UK.