On the 15th of December, EFA board member Lina Buzermaniene participated in a conference entitled “Regulatory Science: Are regulators leaders or followers?” organised at the European Medicines Agency to mark the departure of executive director Thomas Lönngren. Atthe conference it was pointed out that during Mr. Lönngren’s 10 years' direction, the Agency expanded its functions from evaluation of medicines to the granting and refusal of marketing authorization. This and other initiatives are described in the Agency’s “Road Map to 2015”, the final version of which was approved in December and published in January 2011. Mr. Lönngren expressed his concern at the amount of money being spent each year on research and new medicines, despite the fact that only 7-9 of these make it onto the market. He asked if a large part of this could not be better used – if not for medicines, perhaps for disease prevention and other important causes. He said that the Agency’s ‘Roadmap’ committed it to providing early advice to medicine companies so that they can avoid failure to gain approvalas a result ofmistakes in authorization applications. The Agency will attempt to stimulate research to develop new medicines and encourage more individualized ones, highlighting its global approach and interest in improving public health.

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