EMA Highlights: EU drug watchdog re-elects key decision-maker

by Gary Finnegan: The chair of the European Medicine Agency’s most influential committee has been re-elected for a three-year term. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) voted to give Dr Tomas Salmonson a fresh mandate at its September meeting.

“It is a great honour for me to receive the backing of my peers for another term,” he said. “I have a deep respect and appreciation for the work of the dedicated and professional members of the Committee.”

The Committee is responsible for giving the green light to new medicines. A positive recommendation by the CHMP is almost certain to be rubber-stamped by the European Commission which ultimately approves EU marketing licenses for new medicines and vaccines.

The Committee is composed of one member and an alternate nominated by each of the 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway, and five co-opted members, chosen among experts nominated by Member States or the Agency to provide additional expertise in a particular scientific area.

Dr Salmonson is Senior Scientific Advisor at the Swedish Medical Products Agency where he has worked since 1986. He has been a member of the CHMP for more than 15 years and has served as Chair of the Committee since September 2012.

He set out three priorities for the years ahead: deepening collaboration with key stakeholders; facilitating early patient access to innovative medicines; and improving benefit-risk methodologies.