European Parliament Strives to Grant EMA Expanded Authority

July 12, 2021

The European Parliament has voted to expand the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) authority to monitor the supply chain for drugs and medical devices.

The EU lawmakers specifically called for the creation of an EU database “aimed at detecting, predicting and preventing shortages of medicinal products,” and acting as an information exchange between the EMA and national authorities in the EU member states.

“The pandemic has shown that the EU and its member states were not prepared to tackle a challenge of this magnitude,” said Nicolás González Casares, a parliamentarian representing Spain, adding that “agencies such as the EMA did not have an adequate mandate or sufficient resources.” Shortages of muscle relaxants, sedatives and painkillers have been common during the pandemic, especially in emergency rooms.

The European Council — which represents the heads of state or the governments of EU members — must also adopt the proposed legislation for it to become law.

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