Visit of the President of the German Medicines Agency BfArM to the Austrian colleagues
Prof. Dr. Karl Broich, President of BfArM (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) visits AGES Medizinmarktaufsicht.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, the head of the German drug regulatory agency BfArM paid a full-day technical visit to its Austrian sister agency AGES Medizinmarktaufsicht (MEA). Karl Broich, who has headed BfArM since 2014, is also chairman of the Head of Medicines (HMA) Management Group, which coordinates the joint activities of the European medicines authorities. A specialist in neurology and psychiatry, Broich visited both AGES-MEA and the Federal Agency for Safety in Health Care (BASG), which is located at the same site, and its chairperson and representative of the Austrian Ministry of Health, SC Katharina Reich, Director General of Public Health, and his two Austrian colleagues, MEA Head Christa Wirthumer-Hoche and MEA Head Günter Waxenecker, who currently jointly lead AGES Medicines Market Supervision as a "dual leadership" in the first quarter of 2023, at MEA's Vienna Traisengasse site.
In an impressive showcase of achievements, both Karl Broich and numerous representatives of the Austrian agency presented the most diverse tasks and challenges from the areas of medicinal products and medical devices with which the two authorities are currently intensively involved and which will play an even greater role in the future. In his presentation, Karl Broich addressed, among other things, the Digital Health Applications/Apps (DiGAs), which are already booming very strongly in Germany, but also topics such as Big Data and research data centers. For its part, AGES MEA was able to present in numerous presentations its outstanding achievements in the field of drug and medical device regulation within the EU network and to reaffirm further collaborations both with BfArM and the other European authorities.
Prof. Broich also emphasized and praised the comprehensive services and expertise that AGES MEA, as a (small) Austrian (sister) agency with - in European comparison - relatively manageable personnel resources (comparison: AGES-MEA approx. 380 employees, BfArm and PEI together approx. 2,200 employees) - has been providing reliably and continuously for European drug and medical device safety for years. In the course of the intensive talks, it was also possible to discuss further cooperation and important focal points. Not least, the current topics of supply restrictions and supply bottlenecks played an important role in the joint discussions. Both the German and the Austrian agencies emphasized that cooperation within the EU network is the key to solving current challenges.