June 25, 2020
EMA holds successful PCWP Meeting online
The European Medicines Agency organised two online meetings of the Patient and Consumer Working Party (PCWP) and of the Healthcare Professional Working Party: the first one on June 2 and 3 and a second on June 24, 2020. The decision of moving the meetings online was taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online meeting of June 2 and 3 allowed for a large participation from a wide range of stakeholders representing patient and consumer organisations, as well as healthcare professional groups. One of the main topics discussed was the COVID-19 pandemic including the EMA’s contribution to the pandemic response, the Agency’s support to research and clinical trials for treatments and vaccines against the virus as well as an update on treatments and vaccines under development. As it was explained, a desirable scenario for a vaccine to be available to the public would be to make it possible around August 2021 (again, under an ideal framework). There are currently a vast range of vaccines under development with different profiles (inactivated or weakened virus for instance or depending on the base of protein used).
Another important topic that was discussed at the meeting was the availability of medicines under the current COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of the activities developed at the level of the European Union is to ensure that medicines considered essential are still available in all the countries in the EU. IPOPI has contributed to the collection of practices and recommendations that could be foreseen to ensure a sustained access.
The meeting of June 3 was entirely dedicated to the harmonisation of the international requirements for the approval of pharmaceuticals. This ambitious project involves the pharmaceutical industry and regulators and seeks to improve the efficiency of medicine development as well as avoid duplication of clinical trials, while maintaining safety and effectiveness standards.
On June 24, the topics discussed looked into vaccine confidence, registry-based studies and risk minimisation measures for medicines being sold but with a need to keep track of potential adverse reactions and how to reduce any potential risks associated to certain types of medicines (such as biological therapies or vaccines). The European vaccination information portal was presented during the meeting as a one-stop shop for the main information on vaccines, EU countries vaccination programmes and rigorous information on vaccines and vaccination.