Europe – EU regulators fully uphold transparency and independence standards for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has re-affirmed today that it will uphold its long-standing commitment to independence and transparency in its evaluation of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

In an open letter  sent to European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly in response to an enquiry on the role of EMA and its pandemic task force during the COVID-19 crisis, the Agency explains that it is applying the same independence measures to its experts dealing with COVID-19 treatments and vaccines as it does for those dealing with all medicines. This includes the experts involved in providing advice on these medicines’ development, as well as the experts evaluating them.

These tried and tested measures ensure that EMA’s recommendations are driven only by science and public-health needs, and not by any other interests.

The letter also sets out the Agency’s transparency plans for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. EMA will publish the clinical data underpinning its recommendations for all COVID-19 medicines. This falls under the scope of EMA’s landmark policy on proactive publication of clinical data, which the Agency is reinstating – exclusively for COVID-19 medicines at this point – following its suspension in August 2018 to allow the Agency to focus resources on its relocation from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands…