From lab to patient: how medicines are approved

Good news! A new medicine has been approved for your disease! So how did this happen? Bringing you the latest medicines science can offer takes many years of work. First, scientists develop a medicine that they think could treat your illness. Tests in the lab determine if it could work. If it passes that stage, clinical trials in people check that the medicine does what it’s expected to do … and it’s safe. To then make this medicine available to patients in Europe, a company needs the green light from the European Medicines Agency – or EMA. All the information collected during the lab tests and clinical studies goes to the Agency. There, experts from EU Member States assess the evidence. If the benefits of the medicine are greater than its risks, EMA recommends to the European Commission … that the medicine can be marketed across the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. And while the medicine is on the market, the Agency continues to monitor it. EMA is part of a network that is there for you when you most need it, so that treatments you can trust are available wherever you are in Europe.

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