Union Product Database: EMA’s Veterinary Medicines Division released user research.

In January 2021, the EMA released some interesting findings about how stakeholders might want to make use of the Union Product Database (UPD).

What is the UPD?

According to the New Veterinary Regulations (NVR) EU 2019/6, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) shall establish and maintain a Union Product Database. In an earlier blog we provided other details about the UPD itself [link] as well as the latest updates [link].

To get access to data maintained in the UPD, the future public portal should provide access for everybody with an interest in veterinary medicines including veterinary professionals, agencies (full access), marketing authorisation holders (access to their own Marketing Application data) and the public (limited read access) to

  • search and view information on all authorised veterinary medicines in the EU;
  • check on availability of veterinary medicine in specific member states;
  • ability to consider alternative treatments.

The public will be able to search the UPD for product information nationally and in the wider EU. Data fields of interest include but are not limited to the product name, active substance, country of authorisation, target species, and Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH).

EMA’s UPD user research

In 2020 the EMA conducted user research with regards to the public portal of the UPD, providing some interesting insights from nearly 400 responses. (ref. EMA/33780/2021, Union Product Database user research). In this blog we will focus only on a few areas that will be of interest.

  1. How often do you look up information on veterinary medicines?
Source: EMA

From the data analysed, it seems users are looking for information regularly on a weekly or daily basis.

2. What drives you to look up information on veterinary medicines?

Source: EMA

The main reason for stakeholders to access data seems based around product and safety information for the veterinary medicinal product.

3. How would you typically search for information on veterinary medicines?

The ability to search the UPD was one of the most important factors for all user groups. In particular, users were interested in searching the following:

  • Active substance name;
  • Medicine name;
  • Species;
  • Indication;
  • Medicine’s availability in member states
Source: EMA

4. Other areas of the user research

EMA’s user research included some further details on

Safety data
– Finding comprehensive safety data on veterinary medicines, including possible side effects.
Tracking changes
– The ability to monitor changes on a specific medicine.
Downloading data
– The ability to download data for offline use.
– Which language users mostly use for searching.

In summary

From the user research undertaken by the EMA it is clear that users would prefer a single database where they can find data about the veterinary medicine as well as further information about availability and safety. One of the main functionalities desired is the ability to search and filter the data to each individual need. To make the UPD successful, the EMA will need to ensure that the end user’s needs are met.

Published by Olaf Schoepke

Passionate about sharing ideas with regulatory professionals in the human and veterinary medicinal product space.

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