• Procedure started
  • Under evaluation
  • CHMP opinion
  • European Commission final decision
Current status
European Commission final decision


Isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid) is a retinoid compound and a derivative of vitamin A. Isotretinoin is used for the systemic treatment of acne. Like all retinoids, isotretinoin is teratogen and is contraindicated during pregnancy to avoid congenital defects.

Roaccutane was registered in all EU Member States, except Sweden, from 1983.

On 29 May 2002, France presented to the EMEA a referral under Article 30 of Directive 2001/83/EC. The rationale for the article 30 referral of Roaccutane was due to the fact that Roaccutane does not have the same summary of product characteristics across Member States due to divergent national decisions.

The referral procedure started on 30 May 2002.

During its April 2003 meeting, the CPMP, in the light of the overall submitted data and the scientific discussion within the Committee, was of the opinion that the summary of product characteristics should be amended. In particular, isotretinoin (oral) should only be prescribed to women of childbearing potential under strict pregnancy prevention measures supported by a Pregnancy Prevention Programme (see annex III, amended summary of product characteristics). A positive opinion was therefore adopted on 25 April 2003.

The scientific conclusions and the grounds for the amendment of the Summary of Product Characteristics are set out in Annex II, together with the amended Summary of Product Characteristics in the Annex III.

The final opinion was converted into a Decision by the European Commission on 17 October 2003.

Key facts

About this medicine
Approved name
International non-proprietary name (INN) or common name
About this procedure
Current status
European Commission final decision
Reference number
Article 30 referrals

This type of referral is triggered when Member States have adopted different decisions over the years for some medicines (e.g. different indications, contraindications or posology) and there is a need to harmonise across the EU.

Key dates and outcomes
CHMP opinion date
EC decision date

All documents

  • List item

    Summary information on a referral opinion following an arbitration pursuant to Article 30 of Directive 2001/83/EC for Roaccutane and associated names (see Annex I) International Non-Proprietary Name (INN): Isotretinoin: ... (PDF/107.53 KB)


    First published: 17/10/2003
    Last updated: 17/10/2003

  • List item

    Roaccutane - Article 30 referral - Annex I, II, III (PDF/201.79 KB)


    First published: 02/12/2003
    Last updated: 02/12/2003

  • Description of documents published

    Please note that some of the listed documents apply only to certain procedures.

    • Overview - lay-language summary of the stage of the procedure
    • Notification – a letter from a Member State, the European Commission or the marketing authorisation holder requesting the initiation of the procedure
    • Scientific background – further background information from the triggering Member State on the issues leading to the initiation of the procedure (if applicable)
    • List of questions – questions agreed by the Committee requesting further information from the marketing authorisation holder(s) / applicant(s) to evaluate the issues identified
    • Timetable for the procedure – agreed timeframe to respond to the list of questions, to assess the issues and to adopt a conclusion
    • List of medicines concerned by the procedure – medicine(s) / active substance(s) concerned, and marketing authorisation holder(s) / applicant(s)
    • List of questions to be addressed by the stakeholders – call for data to be submitted by stakeholders (e.g. healthcare professionals, patient organisations, individual patients) (if applicable)
    • Stakeholder submission form – form to be used by stakeholders to submit data (if applicable)
    • Scientific conclusions – scientific conclusions of the PRAC and/or CHMP and/or CMDh
    • Assessment report – PRAC or CHMP assessment and conclusions on the issues investigated, including divergent positions (if applicable)
    • Divergent positions – divergent positions of the CHMP or CMDh members for pharmacovigilance procedures (if applicable)
    • Changes to the summary of product characteristics, labelling and package leaflet (amended sections or fully revised version) (if applicable)
    • Condition(s) to the marketing authorisation(s) – condition(s) for the safe and effective use of the medicine(s) (if applicable)
    • Condition for lifting the suspension – condition to be fulfilled for the suspension of the marketing authorisation(s) to be lifted (if applicable)
    • Timetable for implementation of CMDh position – agreed timeframe to submit and finalise the variation(s) implementing the outcome of the procedure (if applicable)

    Note that older documents may have different titles.

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