MEB Annual Report: a leading player in Europe again in 2016

The Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) was one of the leading players in Europe in the field of medicine assessment and monitoring once again in 2016. The number of procedures and rapporteurships also increased. In addition, the MEB played a prominent role during the Dutch EU presidency by hosting 18 meetings of European committees and working groups.

In the MEB Annual Report you can read not only about activities in Europe, but also about the MEB's national themes and activities.

Medicine availability: focus on the patient

Medicine availability and medicine shortages were important themes in 2016. The shortage of Thyrax had a major impact on society. In order to provide patients with good quality and clear information, the MEB took responsibility for coordinating the provision of information on this shortage, in cooperation with patient organisations and organisations of doctors and pharmacists. Medicine availability was also one of the important themes during the EU presidency because this is a problem in many countries. One of the concrete measures for tackling shortages is the establishment of the Medicine shortages and defects notification centre. Pharmaceutical companies can report shortages and defects to this notification centre without having to worry about whether they have contacted the right body with the right problem. The MEB and the Netherlands Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) jointly developed and set up the notification centre in 2016. It has been operating since 1 January 2017.

Striving towards less animal testing in medicine development

In 2016, significant steps were taken in the process of reducing and replacing laboratory animals in medicine research, partly thanks to research by MEB employees. The results of their research are important for the target of developing medicines on the basis of a significantly reduced need for laboratory animals.

Correct evaluation based on adaptive regulation

During 2016 'adaptive regulation' continued to be developed as an important point of departure for the work of the MEB. Adaptive regulation is the MEB method which focuses on the scientific substantiation and the interests and experiences of patients. It allows for specific circumstances which may differ per occurrence. On this basis the MEB carefully weighs up various factors when, for example, approving or suspending a medicine.

Young MEB: fresh perspective with a link to practice

The Young MEB started in May 2016 and is made up of 14 young and enthusiastic scientists with a broad scientific and clinical network. The MEB's aim in setting up the Young MEB is to involve excellent talent in the MEB's work. The MEB wants to introduce these young scientists to the various content-related and regulatory issues being dealt with, as well as to the method the MEB uses to reflect and weigh up the various factors when taking decisions. The result is a unique opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge within the MEB's extensive scientific and regulatory network.