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[WATCH] Malta makes pitch for European Medicines Agency post-Brexit

Malta will hope its small pharmaceutical industry, use of English as an official language and warm weather will help woo the EMA from London after Brexit

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
20 March 2017, 6:55pm
Medicines Authority chief Anthony Serracino Inglott (left) and health minister Chris Fearne launch Malta's official EMA bid. Photo: James Bianchi
Medicines Authority chief Anthony Serracino Inglott (left) and health minister Chris Fearne launch Malta's official EMA bid. Photo: James Bianchi
Malta has officially launched its campaign to woo the European Medicines Agency to the island after the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU.

Heath minister Chris Fearne told a press conference that Malta is the right place for the EMA to relocate, citing the country’s free and high-quality healthcare, growing research community, availability of expert human resources, high quality of life, warm weather and tranquility, and English as an official language.

He suggested that Malta’s relatively small pharamaceutical community could prove an advantage, in that it wouldn’t exert too much pressure on the Authority’s attempts to design regulations that keep patients at the forefront.

Moreover, he said that all EMA employees and their families will benefit from free childcare and education – from primary up until tertiary level.

“Malta is a place you’d like to bring your children up in, and when expats are asked where they would like to relocate, Malta always comes up as number one in the EU.”

He admitted however that the bid will be a daunting task, given that every other EU member state has also expressed their intention of poaching the agency from the UK,

The bid is being launched by the Medicines Authority and the government will invest €50 million euro on building offices – some 30,000 square metres in size - that could be used by them.

Medicines Authority chief Anthony Serracino said that the authorities are analyzing whether to renovate an existing building or build a new one from the ground up. Any building will have to be around 30,000 square metres in size and cater for around 564 meetings and 4,273 teleconfereneces per year.

“We are fully confident that, even if EMA doesn’t come to Malta, the building will be taken up by another company,” he said. “We are informed that a number of British companies have run surveys on where they would like to relocate post-Brexit, and Malta features very highly as an alternative.”

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono is a journalist at MaltaToday
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