CHMP Elects New Leader after Atypical Transition

Posted 17 September 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), currently in the midst of a number of changes in committee staff, has elected Thomas Salmonson as the new chair of its influential Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

CHMP's transition has been anything but typical. Its previous chair, Eric Abadie, resigned abruptly in April 2012 after being linked to a scandal involving then-French-regulator Afssaps's handling of the anti-diabetes drug Mediator.

French regulators, speaking on behalf of Abadie, said EMA had not been able to secure funding for Abadie to continue to serve as chair of the committee, which is a non-compensated position, after he resigned from his position as Scientific Advisor to Afssaps.

Abadie's replacement, Salmonson, comes to EMA from the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA), where he serves as a senior scientific advisor. Salmonson has also served on the CHMP since 2000, and has served as vice-chair since 2007 and acting chair since Abadie's April 2012 departure.

He has also been a member of the Working Party on Pharmacokinetics (EWP-PK) for EMA's previous iteration, the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA), and EMA's Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) from 1999 to 2004.

Salmonson said in a statement that he is committed to meeting the challenges of CHMP and, "Ensuring that we actively shape our own future."

"The regulation of medicines has become much more proactive over the past few years, and we must embrace the tools we have to shape drug development pre- and post-approval, for example by providing scientific advice to companies developing medicines and agreeing risk-management plans for new medicines coming to the market," said Salmonson.

CHMP will meet in October 2012 to elect a new vice-chair.


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