Tomas Salmonson has been appointed chair of the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).
Salmonson, who is senior scientific advisor at Sweden's Medical Products Agency (MPA), had been acting head of the Committee since the retirement of Dr Eric Abadie in April, 2012, and now takes on the role on an official basis.
Dr Eric Abadie, who had been chair since 2007, was forced to vacate the unpaid position after the termination of his contract as scientific advisor to the Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Produits de Sante (AFSSAPS) amid great upheaval to the French medicines regulatory system.
New appointee Salmonson will retain his role in Sweden while leading the Committee, which acts as a scientific advisory board to the EMA, to review and recommend medicines for use in humans.
“We have long supported Tomas in his work to promote the CHMP,” said Christina Åkerman, director general of the MPA.
“He has been vice chairman since 2007 and it is an important recognition to him, but also to the MPA, that now he is elected as president.”
In addition to his role in Sweden, Salmonson had been a member of the CHMP since 2004 and its vice-chair since 2004, and he was previously a member of the EMA's Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) from 1999 to 2004.
Commenting on his election Salmonson said: “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.”
The CHMP will elect a new vice chair at its October 2012 meeting.