Press release

New Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).

Commission on Human Medicines

The CHM provides independent expert advice to ministers on the safety, quality and efficacy of medicines. It is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

I am pleased to confirm Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed as Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).

He provides a wealth of clinical experience and expertise in pharmacology, genetics and the safety of medicines. He will lead the CHM at a time when its role and profile continues to be critically important in its independent and scientific assessments of the safety, quality and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as all other vaccines and medicines, to protect public health.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed said:

I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the CHM. The Commission is widely respected internationally for its work in licensing new medicines and monitoring their safety. Patient and public safety remains at the forefront of our work and I will make sure that the vital role we play in ensuring the medicines we take continue to meet the highest standards of safety, quality and efficacy.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed is a clinical pharmacologist and geneticist who currently holds the David Weatherall Chair in Medicine at the University of Liverpool and is a Consultant Physician at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Sir Munir holds the only NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics in the UK, is Director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Sciences and Director of the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was until recently a CHM Commissioner and Vice Chair.

Notes to Editor

  • Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed has been appointed as Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines for 4 years from 12 February 2021. He replaces Professor Stuart Ralston whose appointment ended on 11 February 2021.
  • This appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
  • The appointments are made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the Code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Sir Munir has not declared any political activity.
  • The appointment will involve a time commitment of 33 days per year, including 11 meetings and any ad-hoc meetings based on need. Remuneration for the role will be up to £500 for the preparation required and attendance at each meeting.
  • Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed will continue in his role as chair of the CHM’s COVID-19 Vaccines Benefit Risk Expert Working Group.
  • More information on the Commission for Human Medicines.

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Published 12 February 2021