EMA relocation: and the winner is...

Voting has been taking place today by EU affairs ministers to decide the forum for the relocation of the European Medicines Agency.  The results are in, and the winner is Amsterdam.

The Dutch have beaten off stiff competition from 18 other candidate cities in a complex voting procedure, where each member state had the same input as any other.  Votes were cast by secret ballot, where it is reported that Milan had 12 votes, Amsterdam 9 and Copenhagen 5.  When Copenhagen was knocked out, its votes went mostly to Amsterdam (feels a bit like Eurovision, no?)
At which point Amsterdam and Milan tied at 13-13.  The final decision was taken by pulling a name out of a hat.   Actually.

So how did Amsterdam do in the EMA's relocation staff retention survey in September 2017?  In summary, Amsterdam received a glowing "green" rating (meaning equal or greater than 65% staff retention).  They also did well for location accessibility and access to labor market, medical care and social security.  Detailed results of that survey can be found here.

The UK will say goodbye to 900 people who are employed by the EMA in London.

Congratulations to our Dutch friends - our loss is your gain!
EMA relocation: and the winner is... EMA relocation: and the winner is... Reviewed by Eibhlin Vardy on Monday, November 20, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. I for one am absolutely certain that the 900 lost jobs from the loss of the EMA will be immediately replaced by at least 900 new jobs at the new UK Medicines Agency, that the UK government must surely be in the advanced stages of planning for. Perhaps we could even have a poll as to where that should be located?

  2. Which country will get the London branch of the UPC Central Division?

  3. Is 900 the number of people who have guaranteed they will relocate? I presume this must be so.

  4. The London branch of the UCP must surely be based in London? How about basing new institutes in Barcelona, or is that short-term thinking too?

    Should the UK bother to ratify the UPC if there is no self-interest? Isn't that how the EU works?

    The UK Medicine's agency could probably hire experienced staff who don't wish to relocate, slash their wages as they will be in a take-it-or-leave-it position, cut the cost and speed of drug approval to get some business from the EMA (which will any case take a decade to get up and running).

    Fun Fun Fun!!!

  5. "the UK government must surely be in the advanced stages of planning for."

    This surely is a joke. We don't even know which desk we are using tomorrow.

    Yours sincerely,
    Civil servant with no instructions living day by day waiting for crumbs from the top table. But wait those are snaffled before they drop from those at the top table who are themselves starved of info about what to do next.

  6. The EMA staff survey indicated that for the top few choices, of which Amsterdam was likely one, between 110 and 190 staff would not relocate (out of around 700 respondents). So the MHRA will probably be able to pick up around 100-150 staff.

    Providing they all work 6-10 times harder than they did at the EMA, we will be fine! Alternatively they will be doing 6-10 times less work, which would be achievable I suppose if they just rubber-stamp EMA decisions. But if that is the plan, then we can expect UK decisions to run 6-12 months behind EMA at the least.

    It would be helpful if someone can send the IPKat the link to the carefully thought through and developed plan for implementing a UK agency in 18 month's time. The EMA is planning now because that is how long it takes to move an existing agency. Imagine how much easier that is, than setting up something anew.

    It is not being dramatic to say that, if there is no plan, people are going to die. If the plan is to shadow the EMA, 6-12 months behind, then just the first 6-12 months of people who could be saved with a new medicine will die. Unless they are rich enough, and have the necessary visa arrangements, to travel to the EU for private full-cost healthcare.

    Failing to approve a new medicine means that critically ill people don't get access to lifesaving medicine. That is why we need to know now what the plan is.

  7. @Felix

    I think you are confusing the UK Government with The A Team.

  8. Why rubber-stamp EMA decisions? May we not instead rubber-stamp FDA decisions, which come before EMA decisions?

  9. Those who precipitated BREXIT don't bat an eyelid. On the contrary, the more chaos, the happier they are, given the ever-increasing opportunities that brings, to make money out of financial speculation in the City of London. Singapore on Thames? Bring it on!

    Unlike the poor bloody infantry, sorry, I mean voters, still vaguely supposing they are somehow going to be "taking back control", the BREXIT ministers will all be able to access their medication outside the UK.

    Cornwall, the second poorest region in northern Europe, returns six Conservative MP's to Parliament. In Bradford, one of the most deprived local authorities in England, there are 11 betting shops within a radius of 250 meters. Is this healthy?


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