Europe – European Medicines Agency mid-year report 2020

Covid-19 pandemic

Following the successful relocation to Amsterdam in 2019, the Agency planned to gradually resume its full scale of operations taking due account of the available resources after the relocation in 2020, reinstating some activities that had previously been temporarily reduced or suspended.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the Union in Q1 2020 the Agency invoked its business continuity and public health threat plan in order to protect staff, delegates and contractors’ health and safety while delivering on its mandate.
While it is still impossible to foresee the full impact of this pandemic, it is clear it will be significant and multifaceted. Unlike Brexit, where the impact focussed a lot on the operation of the Agency (i.e. execution of the physical relocation and retaining staff to ensure Agency’s ability to deliver its core activities), the COVID-19 crisis has changed the landscape in which the Agency operates. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the whole European Medicines Regulatory Network (EMRN) – National Competent Authorities (NCA), EMA and the Commission, albeit to a different extent and not
necessarily at the same time. Therefore, EMA had to react to the impact of the pandemic both in terms of the impact on the Agency itself and of the impact on the network…