We take medicines as a matter of course. Confidence in their quality and efficacy is extremely high.
There are countless pharmaceutical products - pills, powders and potions - on the Dutch and European market. They are intended to prevent, cure or ease the symptoms of illness. All medicines must be absolutely safe, effective and of consistent quality. Only then can the patient be assured of good care.
RIVM plays a key role in the admission (marketing
authorization), control and licensing of pharmaceutical products in
the Netherlands and Europe. A product will only be authorized for
distribution if it meets all requirements set by European
legislation. RIVM conducts various types of study to
ascertain the quality and safety of any new pharmaceutical product.
At the national level, it will often do so on behalf of the
Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB). At European level, we work with
and for the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The Health Care Inspectorate commissions RIVM to perform regular analytical studies of medicines to ensure ongoing compliance with the registered specifications. We perform batch controls of vaccines and blood products.
RIVM also analyses illegal and illicit products, such as counterfeit drugs and nutritional supplements of dubious origins, composition and value.
We develop and apply alternatives to animal testing wherever possible. Where animal testing remains essential, we insist that it is humane and responsible.