The European Medicines Agency supports World Health Day

European Medicines Agency (EMA)World Health Day is a global campaign held every year on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year's theme highlights a priority area of concern for WHO. In 2012, the theme for the day is ageing and health, focusing on how good health throughout life can help older people lead full and productive lives and be a resource for their families and communities.

The Agency plays an active role in protecting the health of older people by providing specific recommendations on the authorisation and safety-monitoring of medicines used by older people. It engages with regulatory authorities, pharmaceutical companies and organisations representing the interests of elderly people in Europe and beyond, including with patient, consumer and healthcare professional organisations such as AGE Platform Europe and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society.

The Agency is responsible for the evaluation of new medicines in the European Union (EU), including medicines for diseases affecting older people. These include all medicines for neurodegenerative conditions, which affect the way the brain and nervous system work, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The Agency is also responsible for evaluating medicines for cancer and diabetes.

The Agency published a geriatric medicines strategy in February 2011, setting out its plans for ensuring that the needs of the ageing population in the EU are taken into account in the development and evaluation of new medicines by building on its existing activities. In particular, the strategy aims to ensure that the medicines used by older people are of high quality and are studied appropriately in the older population, and to improve the availability of information for older people on the use of medicines.

It has also set up a Geriatric Expert Group to provide scientific advice on issues related to the elderly and has hosted workshops on this topic, most recently a workshop on medicines for older people in March 2012.