The Agency of Biomedicine in France (Agence de la biomédecine), established in August 2004 by the Bioethics Law, operates in four key areas of human biology and medicine: assisted reproductive technologies, prenatal and genetic diagnosis, embryos and stem cell research, and the procurement and transplant of organs –notably thanks to regulation and support offices– tissues and cells.
These medical activities present major therapeutic, health and ethical issues. Interacting nation-wide, the Agency provides professionals and researchers with collective answers, guarantees equity of access, ethics and transparency for the activities under its responsibility, organises information and awareness campaigns and publishes an annual activity report. Additionally, the head office also entails a training and information centre.
Moreover, by closely following the development of knowledge and technologies, the Agency regularly raises authorities’ awareness and issues recommendations, provides advice in drafting rules and regulations and to the development of new strategies to organise health care, and promotes research as well as international cooperation in its fields of activity.
Drawing on the skills of medical and scientific experts, the Agency works with professionals to develop guidelines for harmonizing and developing best medical practices, contributes to the development of homogeneous quality and safety treatments accessible to all, issues recommendations, approvals and authorizations, and ensures their application and the respect of legal provisions notably regarding consent, anonymity and donation criteria for organs, tissues, cells, gametes and embryos. The Agency guarantees that patients throughout France benefit from the highest levels of safety and quality care. In this regard, the Agency also evaluates medical activities and makes these evaluations available to the government, parliament, professionals and to the public at large.
The Agence de la biomédecine is the only Agency in Europe covering the four areas of transplantation, procreation, embryology and genetics. It has forged close links with Transplant medical teams and patients, thanks to its 24/7 operational role of managing transplants waiting list and the non-donor registry, and allocating transplantable organs.