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European Commission final decision


On 23 June 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the suspension of a medicine (Riluzole Alkem), for which studies were conducted at the Alkem Laboratories Ltd site in Taloja, India, and has required companies to provide new data for another medicine before it can be authorised in the EU.

The recommendations followed a joint routine inspection by German and Dutch authorities in March 2015, which revealed misrepresentation of data during the conduct of two different trials performed in 2013 and 2014 at the Taloja site. The findings cast doubts on the quality management system in place at the site, and thus on the reliability of the data of bioequivalence studies conducted between March 2013 and March 2015.

EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) noted that, although there is no evidence of harm or lack of effectiveness linked to the conduct of studies by Alkem Laboratories Ltd, the studies cannot be accepted in marketing authorisation applications in the EU. Therefore, the Committee recommended that medicines authorised or being evaluated on the basis of these studies should be suspended or refused authorisation, unless alternative data are available from other sources.
The specific recommendations of the CHMP are as follows:

  • Riluzole Alkem, a medicine for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which has yet to be marketed in the EU, should now be suspended.
  • Ibuprofen Orion, a painkiller currently under evaluation by national authorities, cannot be authorised on the basis of studies carried out at Alkem Laboratories Ltd. So far no alternative studies from other sources have been provided
  • Cefuroxime Ingen Pharma, currently under evaluation by national authorities, can still be considered for authorisation, as studies from other sources have been provided.
  • Cefuroxime Alkem and Cefuroxime Krka (antibiotics) can remain on the market in the EU, as alternative studies have been provided that support a positive benefit-risk balance.

The CHMP's recommendations concerning these medicines were sent to the European Commission, which issued a legally binding decision valid throughout the EU.

EMA will continue to work closely with national authorities and international partners to ensure that studies underpinning marketing authorisations in the EU are carried out to the highest standards and that companies continue to comply fully with all aspects of Good Clinical Practice (GCP).

Key facts

Approved name
Reference number
Article 31 referrals

This type of referral is triggered when the interest of the Union is involved, following concerns relating to the quality, safety or efficacy of a medicine or a class of medicines.

European Commission final decision
Opinion date
EC decision date

All documents

Document description

  • Questions and answers (Q&A) - easy-to-understand summary of key issues and Committee conclusions
  • Summary of Opinion - contains the CHMP opinion of the referred medicine(s)
  • List of the medicines affected by the referral (Annex I)
  • Scientific conclusions of the Committee (Annex II)

The following two documents are sometimes available:


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