News from the HPRA

The HPRA are always striving to improve their processes and ways of working.  The following updates in the Human Medicines Department should help us all in our dealings with each other.

New electronic workflow system

The human medicines department within the HPRA have transitioned to using a new (internal) electronic workflow system. Due to this the following changes are worth noting for MA (marketing authorisation) applications and the issuing of licences and summary of product characteristics (SmPCs) by the HPRA:

  • Product Specific Details (PSD)

The product specific information (which included the product composition and the manufacturers’ details) will no longer form part of the product licence document that is issued by the HPRA.
Previously the product licence document consisted of the licence cover page, PSD and Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC). In future, the product licence document will consist of the licence cover page and the SmPC only. The information previously detailed in the PSD will be logged on the HPRA database and remain a registered part of the product marketing authorisation.

  • Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC)

Updated SmPCs and Package Leaflets will publish on the website 24 hours after case closure.
(For details relating to the font/format of SmPC documents, further details are found in HPRA newsletter number 62).

  • PA numbers 

PA, or Product Authorisation numbers, are the Irish version of the MA number.  Newly allocated PA numbers for new holders will now contain 5 digit prefix.

  • Case Reference Number (CRN)

Previously CRNs were displayed as seven digits. These will now be alpha numerical for any new cases e.g. CRN00011X. The HPRA will still be able to identify any closed or ongoing cases using the old CRN.

  • Digital communications

All cases on the new system will be assigned a dedicated e-mail address e.g. [CaseNumber] This will enable you to send the HPRA case specific communications directly to the case and the allocated team. E-mail correspondence sent to you from the HPRA that is relevant to the case will come from this dedicated e-mail address. The European e-mail boxes will still be used where applicable.  You should consult with your IT department to ensure that e-mails of this nature are not blocked in your organisation.


National Scientific Advice Guide

The HPRA have recently updated their National Scientific Advice Guidance (which commenced in 2017) to include additional therapeutic areas for stakeholders. These areas include: anti-infective products, vaccines, disorders of haemostasis and thrombosis, cardiovascular diseases, common allergic conditions, advanced therapies in certain clinical indications and biostatistics. The updated guidance can be found at the following link:

(Guide for national scientific advice)


Written by:

Claire Brown