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MHRA’s Woods joins EMA Management Board

The EMA’s Management Board has unanimously elected Kent Woods as its new Chair.

Mr Woods, the current Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), will serve a three-year mandate.

Speaking on his appointment, Professor Woods told the Board of his ambition to “provide strategic leadership” in assisting the EMA to protecting the public and maintaining trust.

The new chair has been a member of the Board, and the Chief Executive of the MHRA, since 2004.

Also at the June meeting, the Board agreed on a plan for introducing amendments to the way the Agency deals with potential conflicts of interests of staff members. The proposals are aimed at achieving a more robust system for staff, mirroring the same principles on handling conflicts of interest adopted by the Board in October last year for committee members and European experts.

Once in place, the rules will clarify allowable and non-allowable interest for staff, and also strengthen controls on the appointment of individuals as product team leaders. The rules will also require new Agency employees to reveals any interests prior to being appointed.

The Agency says that discussions with the Board to find a common approach on how best to manage conflicts of interests through the EU network have now been initiated.

The Management Board also adopted the Agency’s Annual report 2010 which saw increases in workload in almost all departments. On the human side, the number of post-authorisation activities, orphan-medicine designations, scientific-advice procedures and referrals continue to grow.

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