Emergency Task Force (ETF)
The Emergency Task Force (ETF) is an advisory and support body that handles regulatory activities in preparation for and during a public-health emergency, such as a pandemic.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) established the ETF in accordance with the Regulation on EMA's Reinforced Role (Regulation (EU) 2022/123).
The ETF took over the activities of the COVID-19 EMA Pandemic Task Force that EMA convened in March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The Regulation made the group permanent and entrusted it with an important role in crisis preparedness.
For more information, see Crisis preparedness and management.
Responsibilities of the ETF
The ETF is responsible for the following activities in preparation for and during a public-health emergency:
- Providing scientific advice to developers of medicines that could address the public-health emergency
- Reviewing scientific data on these medicines, including data requested from their developers
- Engaging in preliminary discussions with these developers and providing them with feedback on how to best develop their medicines
- Offering scientific support to facilitate clinical trials in the EU for the most promising medicines
- Supporting the work of EMA's scientific committees evaluating applications for authorisation of these medicines and monitoring their safety
- Providing scientific recommendations on the use of medicines prior to their authorisation, in liaison with EMA's scientific committees, working parties and scientific advisory groups. These medicines can include medicines already authorised for a different indication
- Making the best use of real-world evidence to support preparation for crises and responding to them. This includes evidence from healthcare databases across the EU via DARWIN EU
- Cooperating closely with stakeholders and with European and international organisations
Composition of the ETF
The ETF is composed of the following experts:
- Representatives of EMA's committees and working parties, including its Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party (PCWP) and Healthcare Professionals’ Working Party (HCPWP)
- Representatives of EMA
- Representatives of the Clinical Trials Coordination and Advisory Group (CTAG)
- Clinical-trial experts from the national competent authorities
The experts are nominated by the entities they represent based on their expertise.
The European Commission established the CTAG in accordance with Article 85 of the Clinical Trials Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 536/2014).
The Emergency Task Force is co-chaired by an EMA representative and by the chair or co-chair of the CHMP.
EMA's Management Board adopts the ETF’s composition in preparation for and in response to public-health emergencies.
More information on the ETF's responsibilities, composition, procedures and activities is available in these documents:
Composition of the Emergency Task Force (ETF) for the therapeutic response to the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF/127.58 KB)
First published: 18/03/2022
Rules of procedure of the Emergency Task Force (ETF) (PDF/177.92 KB)Adopted
First published: 06/05/2022
ETF during COVID-19
The current ETF is composed of representatives and experts from:
- the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP);
- the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC);
- the Paediatric Committee (PDCO);
- the Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures - Human (CMDh);
- the following EMA working parties:
- the Clinical Trials Coordination and Advisory Group (CTAG) and other clinical-trial experts from the national competent authorities.
The clinical-trial experts either belong to or have received nomination from:
- the CTAG;
- the Clinical Trials Coordination Group (CTCG).
The current co-chairs are:
• Marco Cavaleri, EMA's Head of Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy
• Bruno Sepodes, vice-chair of the CHMP
Below (in alphabetical order of surname) are the current members of the Task Force. The members' CVs and declarations of interests are available in the European expert list.