Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products approves four-year work programme

News 22/12/2011

The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) at the European Medicines Agency has approved a work programme for 2012-2015 with the aim of strengthening the integration of herbal medicines in the pharmaceutical legislative framework and benefiting the European consumer through safe and effective use of herbal medicinal products. The document supports the objectives of the PDF icon European Medicines Agency road map to 2015 in relation to herbal medicinal products, and describes a range of new activities beyond those that form part of the regular assessment work of the HMPC.

New activities described in the work programme include:

  • ensuring excellence in the preparation and maintenance of Community herbal monographs through initiatives to review monographs every five years and a Europe-wide survey to understand the use of monographs and how they bring benefits to the European Union generally;
  • acknowledging the growing importance of and interest in medicines systems from outside the European Union such as Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurvedic medicine by developing guidance and training for those assessing these types of medicine as part of the work of the HMPC and the national competent authorities;
  • ensuring that the general public are able to understand the uses, benefits and risks associated with herbal medicinal products through the development of new summaries for the public written in non-specialist language and published on the internet;
  • forging important European and international relationships through greater involvement in the activities of the International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) initiative and the bringing together of partners through the organisation of an international workshop in 2013 on the regulation of herbal medicines.

The HMPC intends to provide regular progress reports on the implementation of this work programme. For more information on the work of the HMPC, see the website section on herbal medicinal products.

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