EMA and FDA will now share trade secrets, allowing both regulators to act on each other’s inspection reports

As part of a landmark agreement forged in March, the FDA and European Medicines Agency said Wednesday that they will soon share non-public and commercially confidential information, including trade secret information.

The announcement is part of the implementation of an agreement between FDA and EMA to mutually recognize one another’s pharmaceutical manufacturing inspections, which will likely reduce duplicative inspections and lower costs for both regulators.

According to the commitment signed by Dara Corrigan, FDA’s acting deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy, FDA says it will protect from public disclosure such non-public information.

Guido Rasi

And in the agreement signed by EMA executive director Guido Rasi, EMA may share some information received from FDA with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), as well as representatives of EU member state regulators. FDA will advise the Commission and EMA of the non-public status of such information when it is shared.

EMA said the agreement allows for the sharing of full inspection reports, meaning both regulators can make decisions based on findings in each other’s inspection reports and make better use of resources to focus on manufacturing sites of higher risk.

But, before FDA can share unredacted inspection reports with EU member states’ inspectorates, the agency says it “must sign a similar confidentiality commitment with each EU country.”

FDA says it anticipates these agreements can be made “expeditiously” using the agreement with EMA and DG SANTE as a template and says it will be initiating negotiations for those agreements with each EU member state.


Image: The EMA’s current headquarters in London. The regulator is reviewing bids from EU nations for its new post-Brexit location. Shutterstock

First published here. Regulatory Focus is the flagship online publication of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), the largest global organization of and for those involved with the regulation of healthcare and related products, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biologics and nutritional products. Email news@raps.org for more information.

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