UK veterinary professionals have been invited to comment on draft proposals for improving human and animal health across Europe and prioritising key issues.

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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA) have released the “EU Medicines Agencies Network Strategy to 2020” – a draft common strategy to 2020 for the European medicines agencies network for a three-month public consultation.

The document outlines for the first time joint key priorities for the network and a high level strategy to achieve these.

It says the need to further strengthen the collaboration between the members of the network and work together towards achieving agreed goals has become more urgent.

Europe faces the global threat represented by antimicrobial resistance to human and animal health, and needs to be prepared for emerging epidemics, as highlighted by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in March 2014.

Both the EMA and HMA say the health care needs of patients in Europe are changing. Advancements in science and medicine mean new and more complex medicines are being developed, which may bring opportunities for personalised medicines and more treatments for rare diseases.

Patients also require timely access to new, beneficial and safe medicines. The globalisation of the pharmaceutical industry means greater collaboration with regulators beyond the EU is essential to assure the supply of safe, effective and good quality medicines for humans and animals.

The joint strategy for the European medicines agencies network is based on a coordinated approach and a strengthened collaboration within the network over the next five years.

The network includes all national medicines regulatory authorities for both human and veterinary medicines from EU member states and the European Economic Area, united in the HMA and the EMA.

The draft strategy focuses on areas where collaboration within the network can make a real difference to human and animal health in the EU over the next five years. It builds on the EMA roadmap to 2015 and the HMA strategy document 2011 to 2015.

The draft network strategy is arranged under four key themes, focusing on:

  • human health
  • animal health and human health in relation to veterinary medicines
  • optimising the operation of the network
  • the global regulatory environment

To send comments, email no later than June 30, 2015.

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