FPM was saddened to hear of the death of Professor Sir Michael Rawlins.
Sir Michael was one of the first Fellows of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) when it was inaugurated in 1989 and at that time, he had already made huge contributions to pharmaceutical medicine. He had been appointed to the first chair of clinical pharmacology in the University of Newcastle in 1973 and he had also sat on the Committee of Safety of Medicines since 1980.
His commitment at a public health level globally to understanding benefit risk of medicines was immense. He was UK Chair of the Committee of Safety of Medicines from 1993 to 1998, he was the founding chairman of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), passionately believing in evidence-based medicine and equitable access for patients. He was appointed chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for two terms from 2014. He was a member of the Committee on Toxicity from 1989 to 1992, and the Standing Group on Health Technology Assessment from 1993 to 1995, building towards the foundation of NICE. He was chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and served it until 2008. He was a Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences and in 1999, he was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours, and in 2017 was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for services to the safety of medicines, healthcare and innovation.
Many members of FPM were privileged to have worked closely with Sir Michael, whose down-to-earth approach to assessing evidence to evaluate utility of medicines from many different sources was legendary. His support for establishing clinical pharmacology and pharmaceutical medicine as essential disciplines in public health has been immeasurable.
We send our sincerest condolences to Sir Michael’s family and friends.