Diskussionspapiere des Instituts für Medizinische Soziologie
- 2008, 3
The impact of European integration on the German system of pharmaceutical product authorization
- The European Union has evolved since 1965 into an influential political player in the regulation of pharmaceutical safety standards. The objective of establishing a single European market for pharmaceuticals makes it necessary for member-states to adopt uniform safety standards and marketing authorization procedures. This article investigates the impact of the European integration process on the German marketing authorization system for pharmaceuticals. The analysis shows that the main focal points and objectives of European regulation of pharmaceutical safety have shifted since 1965. The initial phase saw the introduction of uniform European safety standards as a result of which Germany was obliged to undertake “catch-up” modernization. From the mid-1970s, these standards were extended and specified in greater detail. Since the mid-1990s, a process of reorientation has been under way. The formation of the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) and the growing importance of the European authorization procedure, combined with intensified global competition on pharmaceutical markets, are exerting indirect pressure for EU member-states to adjust their medicines policies. Consequently, over the past few years Germany has been engaged in a competition-oriented reorganization of its pharmaceutical product authorization system the outcome of which will be to give higher priority to economic interests.