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Finland expresses interest in bagging European Medicines Agency

Country joins the battle to host the EU's London-based drug agency after Brexit

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Finland has jumped into the contest to secure the London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The Finnish minister of social affairs and health Pirkko Mattila said she wants to examine the possibility of attracting EMA, the EU’s drug regulator, which works with individual regulatory authorities from all 31 European Economic Area member countries

“Other Nordic countries - like Denmark and Sweden - are also interested in hosting the agency," Pirkko Mattila said, according to Finnish public broadcaster Yle.

Ireland, Italy and Spain have also expressed interest in taking over as host country of the EMA, which employs 890 staff.

The trade group Pharma Industry Finland supported the minister’s comments in a statement on its website.

“Finland meets the EMA requirements of a highly educated workforce and high-level medical expertise.  We can provide the agency with the well-functioning Finnish infrastructure and the stability of a safe country," general manager Jussi Merikallio said.

At a recent Science|Business conference, UK MEP Kay Swinburne suggested that the EMA could remain in London if it was re-organised as an intergovernmental body like CERN. “It’s politics – everything is up for grabs,” she said.

The UK is also host to the European Banking Authority, to which Poland and Spain are staking claims.
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