Medical terms simplifier
EMA’s medical terms simplifier gives plain-language descriptions of medical terms commonly used in information about medicines:
The resource focuses on side effects and other terms used in medicines information and assessments of medicines.
The medical terms simplifier does not cover rarely used terms, most disease states, very specialised areas or the broader field of medical science. EMA will issue updates of the document.
Glossary of regulatory terms
EMA's glossary of regulatory terms gives definitions for the main regulatory terms used on this website and in EMA documents.
Click on a letter below to see terms beginning with that letter.
Disclaimer: EMA has developed the definitions in this glossary to help this website's users understand regulatory terminology. Definitions may differ from those given in European Union legislation.
Rapid assessment of medicines in the centralised procedure that are of major interest for public health, especially ones that are therapeutic innovations. Accelerated assessment usually takes 150 evaluation days, rather than 210.
More information can be found under 'Accelerated assessment'.
Activities relating to public access to European Medicines Agency documents.
More information can be found under 'Access to documents'.
The substance responsible for the activity of a medicine.
Documentation providing detailed information on the manufacturing of the active substance of a medicine.
More information can be found on the eSubmissions website under 'Electronic Active Substance Master Files (eASMF)'.
An ingredient in a medicine that increases or modifies the activity of the other ingredients. Adjuvants are often included in vaccines to enhance the body’s immune response.
A medicine for human use that is based on genes, cells or tissue engineering (abbreviated as ATMP).
More information can be found under 'Advanced therapies: Overview'.
A noxious and unintended response to a medicine.
An untoward medical occurrence after exposure to a medicine, which is not necessarily caused by that medicine.
A medicine derived from human blood or plasma that is incorporated within a medical device, where the main mode of action is due to the device.
A medicine that is incorporated within a medical device where the main mode of action is due to the device.
More information can be found under 'Consultation procedure for ancillary medicinal substances in medical devices'.
An annual review of the benefits and risks of a medicine that has been authorised under exceptional circumstances. As part of the process, the specific obligations imposed on the marketing-authorisation holder are also reviewed.
More information can be found under 'Annual re-assessment: questions and answers'.
An application for a scientific opinion on the use of a human medicine intended exclusively for markets outside of the European Union. Medicines eligible for this procedure are used to prevent or treat diseases of major public health interest.
More information can be found under 'Medicines for use outside the European Union'.
The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code: a unique code assigned to a medicine according to the organ or system it works on and how it works. The classification system is maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO).
More information can found on WHO's website under 'WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology'.