EU's top regulator canned on a technicality

Guido Rasi

The European Medicines Agency didn't follow procedure when it appointed Executive Director Guido Rasi, a court has ruled, forcing the continent's top drug regulator to step down and sending the organization scrambling for answers. Back in 2011, when the EMA set out to find a new leader, it wrongfully omitted Belgium's Emil Hristov from its shortlist, according to the European Union Civil Service Tribunal, and that error nullifies the eventual selection of Rasi, however qualified he may be. "It is important to remember that the ruling is about a procedural formality," EMA Management Board Chairman Kent Woods said in a statement. "It is not a reflection on Guido Rasi's competence or ability to run the agency, something which he has done successfully since November 2011." Now the EMA is consulting with its lawyers to figure out whether it can contest the ruling and get Rasi back in his job. In the meantime, Deputy Executive Director Andreas Pott will run the agency. More