"Malta Is Fully Equipped To Host European Medicines Agency"

Manuel Zarb - 12th October 2017

Deo Debattista, the Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection responded to fears raised that a move by the agency to Malta could see most of the staff leaving.

“Malta is fully equipped to ensure a seamless relocation of the European Medicines Agency,” said Deo Debattista, Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018, in comments to this business portal. Dr Debattista was reacting to questions regarding an EMA internal study made public last week, which said that the Agency would lose 70 per cent of its staff if the Agency relocated to Malta and a number of other countries due to accessibility issues.

“The anonymised results of the survey published on the European Medicine’s Agency website have been duly noted by Malta,” Dr Debattista continued. “On Friday 6th October, Malta made its representation in the margins of the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) Meeting, with the subject of the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority.”

“There was an official presentation by the European Commission of its assessment followed by a presentation by Member States of individual offers. Malta presented further information on why it fulfils the requirements for hosting the European Medicines Agency.”

The European Medicines Agency, currently located in London, will be moving to another EU member state after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union. The Agency is tasked with regulating the pharmaceuticals industry in the EU, and works to harmonise the efforts of national medicine regulatory bodies where possible.

Last week the Maltese government offered cost-free premises at Smart City for 15 years to host the Medicines Agency. However, a survey carried out by the EMA among its 900 staff members, asking whether they would be willing to relocate with the agency, found that less than half would move to nine of the candidate countries.

The island was ranked 16th by EMA staff – ahead of only Sofia, Warsaw and Zagreb – with a retention rate of just 14 per cent.

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