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EMA issues guidance to ensure job transparency for departing staff

By Dan Stanton , 30-Apr-2014

Avoiding conflict of interest when an EMA employee takes a new job
Avoiding conflict of interest when an EMA employee takes a new job

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published guidance for departing employees intended to ensure there is no conflict of interest in their new roles.

Though dated October 2013, the EMA released the new guide - entitled “Best Practice Guide for Staff leaving the Agency” - earlier this month setting out procedures to ensure for a departing staff member there is no conflict of interest between work done over the last three years and any new occupational roles.

The guidance aids staff of the agency as to how best to inform the EMA of “their intention to engage in an occupational activity whether gainful or not” for a two year period following their departure, and, according to spokesperson Sophie Labbé, falls into accordance with Article 16 of the Staff Regulations – a set of rules that apply to all employees of European Union bodies.

“The purpose of this provision is to allow the Agency to assess whether there might be a potential real or perceived conflict with the interests of the Agency,” Labbé told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

“If the activity notified by the staff member is related to the work carried out during the last three years of service and could lead to a conflict with the legitimate interests of the Agency.

“The Agency can put in place certain restrictions it sees fit, e.g. it can restrict interaction of the former staff member with the Agency,” she continued.

Best protocols

Prior to leaving the agency, the guidance informs an employee on the best protocol in order fro the EMA to consider whether it is in the best interest of both the staff member and the agency to apply these restrictions on existing activities.

“For example, if a staff member intends to work in the pharmaceutical industry dealing with products for which the Agency is responsible,” the guidance explains, “the Agency may consider restricting product relating activities with which the staff member is currently involved, prior to the staff member leaving the Agency.”

Details demanded in applying for authorisation to engage in other occupations include: Whether the new company receives funding from the EMA or EU, has any contractual, financial or commercial links with the Agency, or whether the employee is a shareholder or will receive any financial advantages at the new company.

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