Irish regulator elected chairwoman of European Medicines Agency

Ireland now holds both the chair and director-general roles at EU’s drug regulator

Irish woman Dr Lorraine Nolan has been elected chairwoman of the board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a three-year period.

Chief executive of the Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) since January 2016, Dr Nolan has served as vice-chairwoman of EMA’s management board since October 2019 and as member of the EMA management board since early 2016.

She has more than 20 years’ experience in the area of medicines and wider health products’ regulation and has held a number of different roles at senior level within HPRA since joining the Irish regulator in 2001.

Ireland now holds both the chair and director-general roles on the EMA, with Dr Emer Cooke in the latter role. Dr Nolan takes over from Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, head of the Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, who has completed two three-year mandates in the position.

Dr Cooke said she had been “instrumental in supporting EMA’s response in the turbulent and challenging times it has faced, from Brexit to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“What has been evident throughout the past two years of the pandemic, and is clear also in the context of the devastating conflict in Ukraine, is that EMA must remain agile, responsive and ready to show leadership and solidarity in light of significant developments in the environment in which it operates,” said Dr Nolan.

“We must ensure that EMA continues to deliver the highest standards of public and animal health protection while maintaining its global reputation as a modern, progressive and transparent regulator.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter