Stuart Ralston confirmed as new Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines

Stuart Ralston has been confirmed as the new Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), Lord Howe, Health Minister announced today.

The CHM advises on matters relating to the safety, quality and efficacy of medicines as well as the collection of adverse drug reactions.

Lord Howe said:

“I am pleased to confirm Professor Stuart Ralston as Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).  Stuart is ideally placed to take on the role as Chair of the CHM as a result of his previous role as a member of CHM and experience in clinical medicine, clinical trials and biomedical science. Stuart will lead the CHM at a time where advances in molecular biology and genomics are being used to tailor drugs to patients more effectively and where techniques such as nanotechnology are being used to develop more sophisticated ways of delivering drugs.”

Stuart Ralston, currently Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist in NHS Lothian, said:

“I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the CHM.  The Commission is widely respected within Europe and on the wider international stage for its work in licensing new medicines and monitoring drug safety.  I found my previous work as a member of the CHM tremendously rewarding and I am looking forward with relish to the challenges offered by my new role as Chairman.”

Stuart Ralston took up the post of Chair of CHM on 12th February 2013.


  1. For media enquiries please ring the Department of Health social care desk on 0207 210 5821
  2. This appointment is made in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.  All appointments are made on merit and political activity played no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Stuart has declared no current political activity.
  3. Professor Stuart H Ralston is Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist in NHS Lothian. He is academic head of Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit, Clinical Lead for the NHS Lothian Osteoporosis Service and Clinical Director for Rheumatology and Gastroenterology in NHS Lothian. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has been a member of the Commission on Human Medicines and chair of its Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Immunology and Dermatology Expert Advisory Group since 2010 and a member of the Medicines for Women’s Health Expert Advisory Group since 2005. He was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines from 2002 to 2005.
  4. The appointment is for four years. He will receive £500 per day for a time commitment of approximately 30 days per year, including 11 meetings.
  5. For further information on the Commission on Human Medicines visit the MHRA website.


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