The European Medicines Agency has established a formal Healthcare Professionals’ Working Party (HCPWP) to further involve this group of stakeholders in its range of activities. The role of the HCPWP is to provide recommendations to the Agency on all matters of interest to healthcare professionals in relation to medicines. The creation of this working party represents the formalisation of the current Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) working group with healthcare professionals and is a key element of the Agency’s formal framework for interaction with this group of stakeholders. A similar framework is in place with patients and consumers through the Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party.
The HCPWP is composed of representatives from healthcare professionals’ organisations that fulfil the eligibility criteria, as well as from the Agency’s Scientific Committees for human medicines and their secretariats. Through its interaction with the CHMP, the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP), the Paediatric Committee (PDCO) and the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT), the working party will provide continuous input on the evaluation and safety monitoring of medicines throughout their lifecycle.
The HCPWP will hold approximately four meetings per year including two joint meetings with the Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party. The mandate and objectives of the HCPWP are to:
- provide information on the way medicines are used in clinical practice, so that the Agency can make the best-possible decision based on the benefits and risks;
- contribute to the Agency’s scientific work intended to continuously improve benefit-risk assessment of medicines throughout their life-cycle;
- monitor that the Agency provides clear and useful information on medicines to healthcare professionals;
- bring the experience and perspective of healthcare professionals into medicines development and supply;
- encourage and help professional organisations to cascade information on medicines to their members and their wider constituencies;
- help healthcare professionals to understand better how the European Union’s medicines regulatory network works.