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Montserrat Llopart

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Montserrat Llopart is a Partner in the International Commercial & Trade department and leads the Compliance and Healthcare Law practices in the Barcelona office. Her practice focuses on advising clients on regulatory, compliance, commercial contracts, consumer and acquisitions issues. She is a regular speaker and contributor to specialist conferences and publications and she is recognized by the leading legal directories as Chamber, Legal 500 and Best Lawyers and as InspiraLaw Top 50 Women List for Spain and Portugal. Montserrat headed the Barcelona office and the Firm's pharmaceutical law group in the EMEA region.

The use of telemedicine in Spain has increased in recent years, and although there is currently no national regulation in this regard, it is possible to find sectoral provisions that provide guidance for its practice. In this sense, the companies that engage in telemedicine must take into account the legal implications that may affect them, such as data protection or the treatment of patient information.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published an artificial intelligence workplan to 2028, setting out new strategy on its use.
Taking into account the implications of AI in different areas of the healthcare sector, the EMA has focused its efforts on four dimensions that should contribute to improving the understanding and use of AI in a responsible way. The proposed workplan will be subject to future modifications as this technology evolves.

The Ministry of Health has issued a note in which it promotes the use of QR codes to show the technical data sheet of medicinal products in promotional materials aimed at healthcare professionals. However, some information must remain in physical format to comply with the regulations on the advertising of medicinal products.

The Spanish National Court annulled the evaluation system of newly approved medicinal products set up in 2020 by the Spanish Ministry of Health because the system was created without following the legally established procedure and was approved by a body that did not have the authority to do so. The court states that the Therapeutic Positioning Reports cannot be considered as a mandatory instrument for the evaluation of medicines prior to the financing decision and clarifies that the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices has the exclusive competence to issue such reports. The annulment of the Plan is expected to shorten the timeframe for financing new medicinal products.

A modification of the current fertiliser products regulation (Royal Decree 529/2023) has been published. This new Royal Decree 529/2023 improves the alignment of national regulations with Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 on EU fertiliser products to avoid tensions between these two regimes. The new regulation introduces provisions on certain mixtures of micronutrients, inorganic fertilisers based on ammonium nitrate and the criteria that sub-products must meet in order to be classified as such.

At the end of June 2023, the new Royal Decree 5/2023 was published, introducing various health and social measures. Among the different legislative changes that have taken place, the most important is the modification of the Law on Guarantees and Rational Use of Medicines and Medical Devices. From now on, the autonomous communities are allowed to establish measures for dispensing medicines and medical devices remotely if there are circumstances that justify it due to the situation of the patients.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published a number of recommendations on good practices in securing the supply of medicinal products for human use with the aim of avoiding stockouts and reducing their possible consequences. The document states that ensuring the availability of authorized medicines in the European Union is a priority for the EMA. Among the recommendations published are the obligation to inform the national authorities of shortages of medicines as early as possible and to provide detailed information so that preventive measures can be implemented.

The new Royal Decree 3/2023 has been published, which establishes the technical-sanitary criteria for the quality of drinking water as well as its control and supply. In this way, the European regulations have been transposed to the national level, with the main goal of improving health protection against the contamination of water intended for human consumption, regardless of its final purpose.

The AEMPS (Spanish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency) has published new guidelines on how conduct clinical investigations with medical devices, in order to adapt them to the EU Regulation 2017/745. The main changes include adjustments regarding the requirements for approval of clinical investigations, modifications to the procedures and deadlines and the documentation required.

The PMPS, in which commercial communications of medical devices were registered, ceased to be operational and was replaced by the new CCPS application of the AEMPS. However, communications made to the PMPS were still valid, although they cannot be managed until they are migrated to the CCPS. Consequently, the AEMPS has set the deadline of 18 July 2023 for the transfer of marketing communications to the new CCPS application, requesting companies to retrieve them by that date, updating their information and submitting them to the necessary review by the AEMPS, prior to their inclusion in CCPS.