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.
Information on a new or known adverse event that is potentially caused by a medicine and that warrants further investigation. Signals are generated from several sources such as spontaneous reports, clinical studies and the scientific literature.
More information can be found under 'Signal management'.
The provision of scientific advice for medicines and medical devices. For medicines, the European Medicines Agency advises on the appropriate tests and studies required in the development or quality of a medicine. For medical devices, the expert panels created by the European Commission advise on clinical studies required in the development of high-risk medical devices.
More information can be found under 'Scientific advice and protocol assistance' and 'Medical devices'.
A group of European experts brought together to provide advice in connection with the evaluation of specific medicines.
More information can be found under 'Working parties and other groups'.
An adverse reaction that results in death, is life-threatening, requires hospitalisation or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a birth defect.
A medicine containing cells or tissues that have been manipulated to change their biological characteristics, which is used to cure, diagnose or prevent a disease.
More information can be found under Advanced therapies.
Requirements imposed on holders of conditional marketing authorisations or marketing authorisations granted under exceptional circumstances.
More information can be found under 'Post-authorisation measures: questions and answers'.
A sample of the actual printed outer and inner packaging materials and package leaflet for a medicine.
More information can be found under 'Mock-ups and specimens'.
The separate analysis of clinical trial results in subsets of the trial’s participants.
More information can be found under 'Clinical trials in human medicines'.
A document summarising the opinion issued by one of the European Medicines Agency's committees at the end of the evaluation process.
A document describing the properties and the officially approved conditions of use of a medicine. Summaries of product characteristics form the basis of information for healthcare professionals on how to use the medicine safely and effectively. Abbreviated as SmPC.
More information can be found under 'Product-information requirements' and 'Guideline on summary of product characteristics'.
A legal provision stating that the marketing authorisation of a medicine will cease to be valid if the medicine is not placed on the market within three years of the authorisation being granted or if the medicine is removed from the market for three consecutive years.
More information can be found under 'Sunset clause monitoring: questions and answers'.
A means of extending the term of patent exclusivity for a new medicine for a fixed period from the date of the first marketing authorisation in a European Union Member State.