At least ten are the different countries which have yet advanced their candidature to host the new headquarters of the European Medicines Agency (Ema) in the post-Brexit era. Milan, the most important economic center of Italy, is among the favourite ones to win the race, as Lombardy is one of the main pharmaceutical districts not only in Italy, but in the all Europe. Here are located about 50% of the Italian pharmaceutical companies, an excellence sector at the top of international rankings as for quality of production and export. Milan also hosts top level universities, hospitals and research centers in the Life Science sector. The new Human Technopole will soon locate within the Expo area and will become the leading Italian milieu for research and innovation in Life Sciences. All of the above represents the basis for Milan’s candidature to relocate the European Medicines Agency once the official procedure for the Brexit will be started by the British Government. “Chances to bring Ema in Milan are high, we must play the game”, said the Italian Minister of Health, Mrs. Beatrice Lorenzin, during the meeting of November 17th organised by Guido Carli Association and Carlo Erba Foundation. All the different stakeholders taking part to the debate strongly reaffirmed their unanimous consensus to support the candidature. Minister Lorenzin announced also the Italian Government already allocated €56 million in order to build the new headquarters.
Mr. Massimo Scaccabarozzi, president of the Italian industrial association of pharmaceutical industry Farmindustria, said the sector might strongly benefit from Ema being relocated in Milan. “Milan has all the needed characteristics to become an European hub for pharma. The minister knows well the meaning of this opportunity for Milan and for Italy”, he said. Politics and industry agreed on the fact the choice may represent a boost for the entire Italian economy, not only for the pharmaceutical sector. “The Government took the right decision to work towards Ema, and not towards the European Bank Authority: a choice that leads to economic value” said Mrs. Lorenzin. Diana Bracco, president and managing director of Bracco Pharmaceuticals, is the coordinator of the working group set up by the Lombardy’s Governor, Mr. Roberto Maroni, in order to prepare the dossier for the Milan’s candidature. Minister Lorenzin announced also the institution of a special Task Force to coordinate and represent Milan and Italy in all needed circumstances.
The Italian city of Parma is already hosting the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa). The strong synergy of interests among the two European agencies might further strengthen the candidature of Milan in order to built a sort of “European FDA”, agreed the participants to the debate. Efsa’s Senior policy advisor, Mr. Alberto Spagnolli, recalled the main challenges the Authority had to face during its relocation to Parma, starting from the proper choice of modern and well equipped headquarters to the need of easy connections with all Europe and the need to host also an European School. But many would be also the opportunities to host both the two European agencies in Italy, he said. Ema and Efsa share competences over different topics, the most important of which is antibiotic resistance, a priority in all European agendas. The presence of “chemical mixtures” of residues of veterinary medicines in human food and animal safety and wellness are other common interests. A reduction of the operative costs of both institutions might also benefit from their common location in Italy, according to European policies that indicates the opportunity to rationalize the framework of Eu’s decentralised agencies.