The Agence de la biomédecine is the French public agency which promotes, regulates and evaluates activities in four quite distinct fields : organ, tissue and cell donation and transplantation, assisted reproductive technology, human embryology and human genetics. It is acknowledged as the reference authority in France on the medical, scientific, legal and ethical issues relating to these fields.
FIELDS OF COMPETENCE : TRANSPLANTATION, PROCREATION, EMBRYOLOGY AND HUMAN GENETICS
In the framework of the law of bioethics, the Agence de la biomédecine contributes to the development of treatments that use substances and products of human origin : organs, tissue and cells. It carries out its duties over a vast area covering :
- Donation and transplantation of organs, tissue and haematopoietic stem cells ;
- Clinical and biological activities relating to assisted reproductive technology ;
- Prenatal and preimplantation genetic diagnosis ;
- Research on embryonic stem cells and the human embryo.
ACTING TO ENSURE equitable ACCESS TO QUALITY TREATMENT
Within its areas of competence, the responsibility of the Agence de la biomédecine is “to improve access to treatment throughout France for everyone who needs it,” states Karim Laouabdia, Deputy Director General, who is responsible for the Agence’s scientific and medical policy. In concrete terms, the Agence de la biomédecine’s missions consist in securing the offer of treatment, making it accessible to everyone and improving its quality in line with ethical principles.
It operates in different ways to carry out these missions :
- Contribution to managing, monitoring and evaluating compliance with the rules of health safety and to improving the transparency of medical and biological activities falling within its competence.
- Involvement in the development and evolution of these activities and application of the appropriate regulations, in conjunction with the government services, associations and health professionals.
- Implementation of new regulations and guidance of health professionals in their application.
- Analysis of the results of medical and biological activities falling within its competence to measure their effectiveness and contribute to the improvement of practices.
Expertise and know-how
The Agence de la biomédecine is responsible for applying the law of bioethics. Its position is clear : it is a repository of expertise and know-how. It reports to Parliament and to the Government on its work and on the application of the law.
It also follows up scientific advances, including – since the law of bioethics of July 7, 2011 –the development of knowledge and techniques in the field of neurosciences, “an area that is different from its other missions but which raises ethical concerns,” according to Anne Courrèges, Director general of the Agence de la biomédecine .