European Medicines Agency head steps down after “procedural error”

The move follows an appeal made by Emil Hristov, a Bulgarian drug regulator who applied for the top job but was unsuccessful.

Guido Rasi, executive director at the EMA

Guido Rasi, the executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has been forced to step down after a “procedural error” in the process that appointed him to the position. 

Bulgarian drug regulator Emil Hristov, who applied for the job but was unsuccessful, appealed to the European Union Civil Service Tribunal. He alleged that the European Commission did not follow procedure when it drew up its shortlist of candidates for the executive director’s appointment, on which he did not appear. 

The tribunal, announcing its judgment on 13 November 2014, agreed with Hristov. It annulled the European Commission’s shortlist decision and, as a consequence, the appointment of Rasi on “purely formal grounds”. 

Sir Kent Woods, chairman of the EMA management board, said: “It is important to remember that the ruling is about a procedural formality. It is not a reflection on Rasi’s competence or ability to run the agency, something which he has done successfully since November 2011.” 

EMA deputy executive director Andreas Pott has taken charge of the agency with immediate effect while the European Commission and the EMA seek legal advice. The EMA would not comment on the consequences for Rasi of any further legal decisions.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 22/29 November 2014, Vol 293, No 7837/8;293(7837/8):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20067165

You may also be interested in