Michael Rawlins

Sir Michael David Rawlins GBE FBPhS FMedSci (born 28 March 1941) is the chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). He took up post formally from 1 December 2014 and was reappointed for a second term[1] in August 2017. The appointment will be for three years. He is also currently Chairman of UK Biobank.

He is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

He was Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) from 1999 to 2013. He was President of the Royal Society of Medicine from 2012 to 2014.

Sir Michael Rawlins
Michael Rawlins
Sir Michael Rawlins in 2010
Born28 March 1941 (age 78)
OccupationChair of Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency


Rawlins obtained his undergraduate medical degree at St Thomas' Hospital, graduating in 1965. His post-graduate training in clinical pharmacology and general medicine was completed at St Thomas' and the Hammersmith hospitals, with a year at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.[2]


From 1973 to 2006, Rawlins was the Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Newcastle University where he undertook research into the safety and efficacy of new and established pharmacological treatments. At the same time he was consultant physician to the Newcastle University Hospitals where he practised clinical pharmacology and general internal medicine.

He became a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines in 1980, was vice-chair from 1987 to 1992 and served as chair from 1993 to 1998. He was appointed chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 1998 and served until 2008. He was the Chair of NICE from its foundation (as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) in 1999 until April 2013.[3] He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health, the not-for-profit behind the Health Impact Fund.

Rawlins has published numerous articles,[4] book chapters,[5] and official publications. He has delivered the Bradshaw (1986), William Withering (1994), Samuel Gee (2006), and Harveian (2008) lectures at the Royal College of Physicians.[6] He was awarded the Hutchinson Medal in 2003, the Galen Medal in 2010, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research in 2011.[5] In 2012 he was awarded the Prince Mahidol Prize for Medicine. In 2010 he helped establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Huntington’s disease in the UK Parliament, supported by more than 40 MPs and peers.[7]

In November 2014 the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced the appointment of Professor Sir Michael Rawlins as its new Chair.[8]

He was knighted in the 1999 New Year Honours for services to the improvement of patient protection from the side effects of medicines and was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to the safety of medicines, healthcare, and innovation.[9]


  1. ^ "Professor Sir Michael Rawlins re-appointed Chair - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Who we are: Director & Trustees: Professor Sir Michael Rawlins". Drug Safety Research Unit. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Farewell to NICE Chair Professor Sir Mike Rawlins" (Press release). National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). 28 March 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  4. ^ "NIH indexed articles authored by M Rawlins". PubMed. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Prof Sir Michael Rawlins's Biography". Debretts. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Attack on traditional ways of assessing the evidence of therapeutic interventions" (Press release). Royal College of Physicians. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  7. ^ Rawlins, M (23 October 2010). "Huntington's disease out of the closet?". Lancet. 376 (9750): 1372–3. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60974-9. PMID 20594589.
  8. ^ "Professor Sir Michael Rawlins appointed Chair of Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency" (Press release). Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  9. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B7.

External links

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Following the thalidomide tragedy of 1957 to 1961, in 1963 the government asked Sir Derrick Dunlop to set up a committee to investigate the control and introduction of new medicines in the United Kingdom. In June 1963 the Committee on Safety of Drugs (CSD) was established. As a result of the subsequent report to the Department of Health, which reinforced the need for specially trained doctors in the pharmaceutical industry and academic departments of medicine, Dunlop became the first chairman of the Committee. In 1970, the CSD was replaced by the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). The CSM was one of the advisory committees established by the Medicines Act 1968.It was replaced on 30 October 2005 by the Commission on Human Medicines which combines the functions of both the Committee on Safety of Medicines and the Medicines Commission.

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