Medicines prescribed by your doctor are assessed by the
Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB). The MEB assesses the benefits of
the medicine, i.e. whether a medicine is effective against a
certain disease or symptom. The MEB also evaluates the potential
risks or adverse events of a medicine. If it becomes evident that
the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks, then the medicine
may be used in the Netherlands. The MEB issues a trade licence for
the medicine. This is called marketing authorisation.
Medicines are never entirely free of risks. Information about
the risks of a medicine is provided in the package leaflet. The
manufacturer of the medicine submits a draft for these texts, but
the final version is drawn up by the MEB. It is important that you
always read the package leaflet carefully before using a medicinal
product. By reading this leaflet carefully and following your
doctor's or pharmacist's directions, you can avoid running
unnecessary risks. All current package leaflets can be found in the
Medicines data bank.
You can also report an adverse effect yourself. The MEB assesses
all reports of adverse events from doctors, pharmacists and
patients. In this way, the MEB monitors the risks of medicines
after marketing authorisation as well.
The MEB maintains contact with consumers and patients through
patient and consumer organisations. The MEB organises meetings with
patient and consumer organisations four times a year since 2004
at which information is exchanged and discussions are held.