October 1, 2015 / 1:15 PM / 4 years ago

European drugs agency reappoints head after hiring debacle

LONDON (Reuters) - Italy’s Guido Rasi is set to resume his leadership of the European Medicines Agency, following a year-long hiatus caused by a mess-up over the way he was originally appointed.

The drugs watchdog - Europe’s equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - said its management board had nominated Rasi as executive director at an extraordinary session on Thursday.

He will take up the post after appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on Oct. 13.

Rasi was forced to stand down as head of the agency last November after a European tribunal annulled his 2011 appointment, following an appeal over the procedure by which he was selected. Former Bulgarian drug agency head Emil Hristov had complained at not being short-listed for the job.

The agency said Rasi had been chosen again as the best person to lead the agency after being selected from a shortlist of candidates provided by the European Commission.

The European Medicines Agency is responsible for recommending the approval of drugs across the European Union and its decisions are crucial in determining the commercial success of new medicines.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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