The European Medicines Agency has now launched its EudraPharm database of medicines information to the general public.

The database, which includes the summary of product characteristics, package leaflets and labelling of all medicines approved by the European Commission following centralised assessment by the EMEA, was already up and running between the Agency and national regulatory authorities, but is now also accessible to doctors, patients and the wider public at

For the moment, the information on EudraPharm is available only in English. Drug information in other official EU languages will be supplied at a later stage, along with improved search functions. The EMEA is also working with the European Commission and the national agencies on the long-term goal of including details of all medicines approved at member state level on EudraPharm.

The database sector that has also spawned the EudraVigilance database for online reporting of adverse drug reactions. Access to EudraVigilance is currently limited to pharmaceutical companies and regulators, although the aim is eventually to open the database up to healthcare professionals and patients.

Setting up EudraPham was one of the responsibilities given to the EMEA under a pharmaceutical review package formally adopted by EU ministers in March 2004. By Peter Mansell