EU's top drug regulator forced out by EMA panel
- Guido Rasi has been executive director of the EMA since October 6, 2011. However, Emil Hrisov, who also applied for the job, appealed to the EU Civil Service Tribunal in 2012, claiming conflict of interest because there were two members on the short list of candidates, including Rasi .
- The tribunal responded by annulling the entire list of candidates, which included not only Rasi, but also Hristov, a former director of the Bulgarian Drug Agency .
- Deputy executive director Andreas Pott will be running the agency until a successor is found.
The panel is chalking this all up as a technicality and procedural formality, but there is a great deal of consternation over the fact that Rasi's unceremonious exit.
The general consensus is that Rasi has successfully run the EMA since November 2011. Unlike the FDA, the EMA is decentralized. There is a board comprised of 27 individuals—one from each member state—that oversees budgeting and other operational issues for the agency. Scientific assessment is conducted through a network of roughly 4,500 experts throughout the EU, and the EMA is a scientific rather than a regulatory agency.
But its decisions are highly influential. Although Hristov feels that the original decision to appoint Rasi was unfair, he says that he will not run again unless the voting process is changed.