In a long-running legal case challenging the European Medicines Agency’s approach to disclosure of clinical trial data, Advocate General Hogan has recommended that the Court of Justice find that such data are presumptively confidential when handling disclosure requests under the Transparency Regulation 1049/2001.

PTC Therapeutics International Limited (“PTC”) had argued before the General Court that

French “anti-gift” rules strictly regulate the relationship between the life sciences industry and healthcare professionals (“HCP”) and the possibility for companies active in the health sector to offer benefits, in cash or in kind to healthcare professionals, medical students or associations representing them.  This includes a general prohibition against offering such benefits.

To strengthen the

On 2 March 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published guidance on aspects of the Agency’s proactive disclosure policy for clinical reports (Policy 0070).  The latest Proactive Disclosure Guidance can be found here and focuses on:

  • Procedural aspects of submitting clinical reports.
  • The anonymisation of clinical reports.
  • The identification and redaction of commercially confidential information (CCI) in clinical reports, i.e. the disclosure of information that is not in the public domain and may undermine the legitimate economic interest of the applicant.

The Guidance is accompanied by a number of annexes, including template cover letters, template anonymisation reports and process flowcharts.
Continue Reading EMA Publishes Proactive Disclosure Guidance

Raj Gathani, a Trainee Solicitor in Covington’s London office, contributed to this post.

On 1 September 2015 the General Court issued an interim order in favour of Pari Pharma GmbH (“Pari”) to suspend the European Medicines Agency’s (“EMA”) decision to grant a third-party, Novartis Europharm Ltd (“Novartis”), access to certain documents prepared during the Marketing Authorisation (“MA”) application process (the “MA Documents”).  The MA Documents at issue included EMA Assessment Reports on similarity and superiority between Pari’s product (Vantobra) and Novartis’ product (TOBI Podhaler), which has an EU MA as an orphan medicine.  Novartis made the request to the EMA for access to the MA Documents under the Transparency Regulation 1049/2001.  The main case is currently pending before the General Court (Case T-235/15).

The thrust of Pari’s argument before the General Court was that the MA Documents contain Pari’s regulatory strategy for obtaining MA approval, disclosure of which might cause Pari serious and irreparable financial damage.  The President of the General Court acknowledged that the case raised complex issues in the area of confidentiality and stated that the main proceedings (rather than an interim hearing) is the appropriate forum to address such issues..  As such the President considered that the MA Documents fell under a presumption of confidentiality  and ordered the EMA not to disclose the MA Documents.
Continue Reading General Court Makes Interim Order to Protect Confidentiality in Pari Pharma Transparency Case

The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) has announced that, as of 22 July 2015, it makes available on its website the Public Assessment Reports (PARs) of medicinal products authorised in Italy through the national procedure.

For the medicines authorised from 2015 onwards, AIFA will publish the full PARs together with a summary understandable to a lay person.  While for the medicines authorised before 2015, AIFA will only publish a summary of the PARs.  All PARs will be published after redacting all commercially confidential information.
Continue Reading Italian Medicines Agency Publishes Public Assessment Reports of Medicines Authorised Through the National Procedure

On 21 January 2015, the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) launched a public consultation on how the transparency rules of Regulation EU No 536/2014 (the “Clinical Trials Regulation”) should apply to the new clinical trials database.  The consultation document of the EMA discusses the practical application of the new transparency rules, sets different options on the application of the exceptions to the disclosure of information, and invites stakeholders to comment.
Continue Reading EMA Transparency Policy – EMA Launches Public Consultation On The Publication Of Information Under The New EU Clinical Trials Regulation