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John Wilkinson joins MHRA as director of medical devices

Former chief executive of Eucomed John Wilkinson joins UK regulator as PIP breast implant safety fallout continues

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has appointed former Eucomed chief executive John Wilkinson as its director of medical devices, following 18 months where the position was left vacant.

Wilkinson joins at an important time for the agency, with ongoing concerns about the safety of PIP breast implants made with low-grade silicone, which have been shown to have an increased risk of rupturing.

In the UK, 40,000 women are thought to have the implants, with a review analysing the role of UK regulators in handling the issue expected in a few weeks.

The MHRA has been without a full-time director of medical devices since Clive Bray's resignation in August 2010, with interim responsibility taken over by finance and operations officer Peter Commins.

Wilkinson has plenty of experience for the role, however, having served as chief executive of European medical technology body, Eucomed, for three years before stepping down earlier this year.

Prior to his role at Eucomed, he was director general of the UK's body for medical technology, the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), for four years.

In his new role, Wilkinson will lead on the safety of medical devices and the review of future medical devices regulation.

He said: “As the new MHRA director of medical devices, my aim is to ensure high levels of patient safety whilst creating the right environment for medical devices to develop at a pace which continues to improve people's lives and contributes to a sustainable development of our health services.”

9th February 2012

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