The European Medicines Agency has kicked off a period of public consultation on its brand new policy on transparency, which is designed to foster “a robust and consistent approach” throughout the group’s operations.

As part of this process, the public will be able to submit any comments regarding the draft policy, which, for the first time, has knitted together the Agency’s visions for openness towards its stakeholders into one document, until September 25 this year.

Explaining the rationale behind the policy, the EMEA said transparency is “a pivotal element in building trust and confidence in the Agency’s operation”, and that it also “fulfils the right of EMEA stakeholders for impartial and comprehensible information about the medicines regulated by the Agency and their use for the benefit of public and animal health”.

The new policy has been constructed around three central themes, which the organisation hopes will help to embed a consistent culture of transparency - implying openness, communication and accountability - across all of its activities, and thereby further strengthen trust and confidence in its operation.

Key objectives
These key objectives are: to make its daily operations more transparent, including a re-assessment of the fine line between openness and the protection of confidential information and promoting good administrative and regulatory practices; to strengthen the Agency’s interaction with its stakeholders, with a view to consulting patients and healthcare professionals on the scientific evaluation of medicines; and to promote “a harmonised approach to transparency” across regulatory authorities throughout Europe.

The Agency says it plans to run another workshop on transparency in October to review any feedback received from the public, and that the final version of its policy should be published at the end of the year.