Sequence of events surrounding the resignation of EMA's Executive Director

By William Chin, PhD, Scientific Coordinator, EUCRAF

In the past 2 months, there was an unexpected development taken place at the European Medicines Agency. Mr. Guido Rasi who was appointed 3 years ago as the Executive Director of EMA, has been forced to step down. The European court annulled Mr. Rasi’s appointment, citing lack of impartiality during the process used to select for his appointment as the Head of the Agency in 2011. Here is a brief sequence of events that has led to the resignation of Europe's top drug regulator.

Since 2008

Mr. Rasi has been in charge at the Italian drug regulatory agency.

Since 2010

He has been a member of the EMA’s management board.

Oct 2010

European Medicines Agency strengthened rules on conflicts of interests of its scientific experts.

June 2011

EMA’s Management Board nominated Guido Rasi as new Executive Director.

Nov 2011

Appointment of Mr. Rasi as the new Executive Director of EMA.

Jan 2012

Emil Hristov, a former executive director of the Bulgarian Drug Agency who also applied for the job, appealed to the European Union Civil Service Tribunal, saying there were conflicts of interest in the decision to hire Rasi.

Nov 2014

The EU Civil Service Tribunal has annulled the Commission’s decision back in Oct 2011 to select Mr. Rasi as EMA's Executive Director on grounds of procedural errors in his appointment.

Dec 2014

EMA Management Board discusses next steps after judgment of EU Civil Service Tribunal. Deputy Executive Director Andreas Pott will be in charge of the management and operations of the Agency until the new selection procedure suggested by the European Commission is finalised.

Source: EMA's news, press release and public statement archive