Call for expressions of interest for patients’ organisations representatives to join Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP)

News 03/11/2023

The European Commission has launched a call for expressions of interest to represent patients’ organisations in EMA's Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP).

The call aims to fill three positions for COMP members nominated by the European Commission to represent patient organisations. The three members will be appointed for a term of three years from 1 July 2024, which can be renewed. The deadline for the submission of applications to the European Commission is at 12:00 CET on 7 December 2023. The current members may re-apply. 

Further information on the application procedure and the assessment criteria is available on the Commission's website.

The COMP has a strong tradition of involving patient representatives in its work. Its main task is to examine applications sent by companies and decide whether their medicines can be designated as 'orphan'. An orphan medicine is used in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition that is rare, which means it affects no more than five in 10,000 people in the European Union (EU).

The role of a patient organisation representative in the COMP is to give a voice to patients and ensure their needs are taken into account in the Committee's decision-making process. Although a medical background is not required, candidates may benefit from a sound knowledge of medical and, to a certain extent, regulatory issues related to medicines in the EU. 

Representatives of patient organisations participate in the COMP procedures in the same way as other Committee members. They are expected to attend monthly Committee meetings at EMA and to actively contribute to scientific discussions, examine documents and make comments with a specific focus on the target group they represent.

Representatives of patient organisations are also members of the EMA's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee, Paediatric Committee and Committee for Advanced Therapies.

The European Commission will appoint the patient organisation members after consultation with the European Parliament.

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