Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Dec;88(6):848-53. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2010.207. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Conditional approval and approval under exceptional circumstances as regulatory instruments for stimulating responsible drug innovation in Europe.

Author information

Innovation Studies Group, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The need for fast drug innovation and the public demand for risk-free drugs creates a dilemma for regulatory authorities: less restrictive procedures involve uncertainties about benefit/risk profiles of new drugs. The European Union has introduced two instruments that regulate early market access: conditional approvals (CAs) and approvals under exceptional circumstances (ECs). We have studied whether these instruments compromise the safety of new drugs and whether they lead to earlier access to innovative drugs. Our study shows that neither of these regulatory pathways accelerates the approval process for innovative drugs. However, the CA pathway shortens the clinical development period. Approvals under ECs are associated with longer clinical development periods, but this regulatory pathway may open up opportunities for specific drugs to be admitted into the market because less comprehensive data are required. Despite the fact that these advanced approvals are based on limited safety databases, there are no special safety issues associated with using these pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center