MEB Annual Report 2015

The Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) assesses and monitors the efficacy, risks and quality of medicinal products for human and veterinary use. The MEB also evaluates the safety of novel foods for human consumption. In this annual report, we look back at the developments in 2015.

In 2015 medicinal products remained a focus of public interest. Continuous public attention is rightfully paid to medicinal products, and this contributes to upholding the public awareness that strict rules are necessary to govern the way medicinal products are developed, manufactured and marketed and that compliance with these rules must be effectively ensured. Nevertheless, all of this attention sometimes detracts from the fact that the effects of medicinal products have never been so well investigated and evaluated as they are today. And we may perhaps forget that the knowledge about medicinal products and the manner of evaluating them continue to improve. We all benefit from those advances. Medicinal products are and will remain enormously important for a huge number of patients. The MEB considers upholding and supporting the public’s trust in medicinal products as one of its tasks. To achieve this aim in the Netherlands, we work closely with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Health Care Inspectorate, the Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, and other partners, and internationally we collaborate with similar agencies in and outside of Europe.

In 2015, it became evident that some of the concerns about medicinal products were justified. For example, the problem of antibiotic resistance continues to grow around the world, patients have to wait a long time for promising innovative medicines to become available, and there is the growing problem of medicine shortages. It is not surprising that these are the topics which the Netherlands is emphasising in a European context during its presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2016. The MEB contributes to this wholeheartedly.