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Minister Harris in Brussels to discuss Brexit and the European Medicines Agency

Today the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD is in Brussels to meet with the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis to discuss a number of health related issues, including the consequences of Brexit for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Minister also intends to use the meeting with the EU Health Commissioner to continue to push for EU to work together on the issue of drug pricing and access to new drugs.

The meeting with Commissioner Andriukatis follows a meeting between the Minister and Professor Rasi, Executive Director of the EMA on 23 January at EMA headquarters in London. In view of the EMA's vital public health role the Minister is keen to convey to Commissioner Andriukaitis the importance of finding a location which will maximise retention of existing staff and keeps disruption to a minimum.

Speaking ahead of the meeting the Minister said "I look forward to meeting with Commissioner Andriukaitis today and discussing with him the future of EMA post Brexit. I hope to have the opportunity to set out some of the benefits a location like Dublin would have to offer the agency, its staff and their families and I look forward to further engagement with the Commissioner when the process of selection commences".

Notes for Editors - About the bid to host the EMA

An interdepartmental/interagency group has been established to develop a detailed proposal to promote the selection of Dublin as the new location for the EMA

- A move to Dublin would minimise the disruption to the business of the EMA, thus ensuring continued protection of EU citizens and providing reassurance to the industries which it regulates.

- Dublin should prove very attractive to EMA staff and their families and maximise retention of existing staff.

- Dublin is an English-speaking location and English is the working language of the EMA and the pharmaceutical industry.

- The Irish medicines regulator – the Health Products Regulatory Authority – would be able to provide strong support to the EMA.