FRANKFURT, April 24 Europe's drugmakers pushed
for a decision as early as June on the new location for the
headquarters of the bloc's medicines watchdog, which will
relocate from London after Britain's decision to leave the EU.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), employing nearly 900
staff, acts as a one-stop-shop for approving new treatments and
monitoring the safety of drugs and veterinary products across
The new location will be decided by the EU's heads of state,
whose next meeting as the European Council is scheduled for June
"The Council's deliberations on the Agency's future location
need to be conducted on the basis of very essential criteria and
put for decision as early on as possible, preferably at its
meeting in June this year," European pharma lobby group EFPIA
said in a statement on Monday signed by 19 top executives at
member companies including Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi and Roche.
The industry warned that getting it wrong could impact the
region's high level of public health.
"Were a rapid resolution on the future location of the EMA
not to materialise, or if the future seat of the European
Medicines Agency were to fail in terms of establishing its
minimum prerequisites, the quality of its work and the future of
the European Medicines Regulatory Network would be placed in
jeopardy," the statement said.
EMA's executive director Guido Rasi earlier this month also
called for a decision in June and for a carefully planned
relocation so as not to disrupt the body's work.
The EMA, the largest EU body in Britain, has been based in
London since its birth in 1995 and it moved into new premises in
Canary Wharf on a 25-year lease less than three years ago.
No fewer than 21 EU member states have expressed their
interest in hosting the EMA, including Italy, Denmark, Sweden,
Spain, France, Ireland and Poland.
The new location would have to offer sufficient transport
infrastructure and accommodation for EMA staff and its tens of
thousands of annual visitors and quality housing, schools and
employment opportunities for spouses and family to retain its
($1 = 0.9372 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)