A consensus is being reached in the European Parliament on splitting the health portfolio from the ENVI Committee and creating a separate subcommittee solely dedicated to it while extending the COVI Committee’s mandate by six months.
This decision will have implications for the designation of future files. In addition, according to reliable sources, there might be an attempt by the European Commission to merge all main upcoming health files, the revision of the general Pharmaceutical legislation (Directive 2001/83/EC and Regulation (EC) No 726/2004), the Orphan Medicinal Products (OMPs) Regulation and Paediatric Regulation, into one. It appears that the European Commission wants them cleared out as soon as possible and is aiming to streamline the legislative process by having them unveiled sometime in April in a single piece.
This is interesting for the in silico medicine community as it will allow focusing outreach activities on one specialised subcommittee. However, it is important to bear in mind that according to the European Parliament’s rules of procedure, subcommittees generally do not have the power to work on legislation, unless otherwise agreed to by their parent committee (in this case ENVI). With this in mind, it should not be taken for granted that every health file will go to this new subcommittee – especially given the S&D’s and Greens’ reported lack of enthusiasm for its creation.