About ISoP - In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Remembering colleagues and friends who have passed away – they will be sadly missed in our pharmacovigilance community.

Ana Maria Corrêa Nunes

In memory of Dr. Ana Maria Corrêa Nunes (1947-2017).

It is with great sadness that I write on the passing of our colleague and friend Dr. Ana Maria Corrêa Nunes on 24th of December 2017.

Ana obtained her medical degree in Lisbon in 1972 and specialized in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. After a few years of clinical work she switched to the pharmaceutical industry and later to INFARMED, the Portuguese national medicines authority. But Ana’s work went beyond the borders of Portugal.

I met Ana when she came in Uppsala in 1998 working on the process of generating signals from international data. I had recently started a new job at the Pharmacovigilance department of a company in Uppsala, and our meetings became the beginning of many years of friendship, and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Ana later became a member of the UMC signal review panel.
Ana was the first Secretary-General of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) (2000-2003), under Prof. Ralph Edwards’s presidency. Many of us know Ana from ESOP and then ISoP and will treasure fond memories from ISoP conferences in different parts of the world.

In 2005, Ana became a Member of the Committee for Orphan Drugs (COMP), at the Europe Medicines Agency and a few years later she joined the ENCePP Steering Group.

Ana was devoted to her work, determined to do what was right, and improve the life of patients. However, she always found time for friends and family. She had high integrity and was a very caring person, with a lot of good sense of humor. Ana loved the arts, opera, fado, orchids and everything that was beautiful. She also became a true expert in decorating cakes with sugar art.

It has been a privilege for me to have been a part of Ana’s life, which ended much too early. She passed away from a rare disease for which there is as yet no cure. Ana wanted us all to continue to improve pharmacovigilance and contribute to development of new treatments.

Christina Ström Möller

Giampaolo Velo

Giampaolo Velo

We are deeply saddened to report the death of Professor Giampaolo Velo past ISoP President (2003-2006) who died in Verona Borgo Trento hospital in Italy on August 17, 2017.
He will be greatly missed by his ISoP colleagues and friends and we are most grateful to Professor Nicholas Moore (past ISoP President (2006-2009)) for providing the obituary below.

We are sad;
On August 17, 2017 Giampaolo Velo has left. Padrino is gone.
He was 74 years young, always there for a new idea, a new trip, a new endeavour. He has left an indelible mark in European pharmacology, from initial fundamental pharmacology, to clinical pharmacology, expanding his interests to pharmacovigilance, ecopharmacovigilance, and was already preparing space pharmacology…

He was professor of Pharmacology in Verona, director of the institute of pharmacology of the universities of Verona and Padova, of the regional pharmacovigilance centre of the Veneto Region, of the reference centre for education and communication within the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring.

He was president of ISoP (2003-2006), which he opened to Asia with the Manila Meeting and chairman of EACPT of which he was a cofounder, and on the editorial board of most European journals in our field.

Over many years, he organised meetings in Erice for the Fondazione Ettore Majorana, which were typical of him: in a beautiful place, with extreme collegiality based on sound traditions (Marsala after dinner), with serious work in the daytime, resulting in communications such as the Erice Declaration on communication in Pharmacovigilance, or a special issue of British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology on Herbal Medicines. His curiosity was immense, and took him all over the (pharmacological and public health) world, where he knew everyone and everyone loved him.

His kindness was infinite, his hospitality legendary. Certainly entirely thanks to Giulia. He loved her to the point of having a car in her name (a giuletta, of course).
We grieve for her, for his children, for all of us. We are all his orphans.

See Giampaolo’s conference on ecopharmacovigilance in Bordeaux in November 2008:
Click to view.

René-Jean Royer

René-Jean Royer, born 8 may 1931, professor of Clinical Pharmacology in Nancy, left us in July 2016.

He was fundamental to Pharmacovigilance and to our Society, having founded the European Society of Pharmacovigilance, ESOP, in 1992, chaired it as president, and led in 2000 the change to ISoP, the international Society of Pharmacovigilance.

He presided the French national Pharmacovigilance Commission. He also presided the Pharmacovigilance Working party of CHMP, first in Brussels then in London, the predecessor to PRAC. In fact, with his many friends he was present and instrumental at all the important points in the foundation of European Pharmacovigilance. Many of these friends have preceded him (Sue Wood, Ron Mann, Chalbi Belkahia, to cite but a few), but many others remain and grieve him.

He was a profoundly just and caring person, who nurtured science and cohesion, left a powerful team in Nancy and a vibrant French Pharmacovigilance System. Discussions with him were always insightful. Even though he was often seen more as a politician of Pharmacovigilance, he was no less a scientist, and published over a hundred papers between 1969 and 2000, on rheumatology, clinical pharmacology and pharmacovigilance.

As the two other « French Presidents » of ISoP our grief is acute, but we share it with many others whose grief is no less strong, among whom the members of ISoP worldwide. We also share this grief with his wife and daughters, one of whom was also member of Isop’s executive committee.

Prof. Nicholas Moore (ISoP President 2006-2009)
Prof. Hervé Le Louet (ISoP President 2012-2016)

Andrew Herxheimer

Dr Andrew Herxheimer, honorary member of ISoP, died on 22 February 2016.

ISoP and the global public health community have lost a dear colleague and friend who showed unwavering lifelong passion in protecting and acting in the interests of patients especially those whose voices went unheard.

Dr Andrew Herxheimer was a clinical pharmacologist in the Cochrane Collaboration, Emeritus Fellow of the UK Cochrane Centre, a convenor of the Cochrane Collaboration Adverse Effects Methods Group, and the founding member of International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB).

Dr Herxheimer became a honorary member of ISoP in October 2010, at the General Assembly in Accra, Ghana. Always active, he was a keen supporter of ESOP (European Society of Pharmacovigilance) and thoroughly enjoyed attending the Society meetings and welcomed the opportunity for lively debate in a way that will be fondly missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr Herxheimer’s family and friends.

Chalbi Belkahia

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of Professor Chalbi Belkahia’s passing.
ISoP and the World of Pharmacology have lost a dear colleague and friend.

As a strong supporter of pharmacovigilance since 1976, when he was Assistant Professor at the Regional Centre of Pharmacovigilance in Lyon, France, he went onto create the Pharmacovigilance Unit at the Medical School in Tunis in 1977 and the Tunisian National Centre of Pharmacovigilance in 1983.

An Emeritus Professor, ex-dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, a distinguished doctor, loyal, and always proud of his students, he will be remembered for his scientific and public health contributions at national and international levels; at ISoP we will remember how much he was dedicated to Pharmacovigilance and to ISoP.

Prof Chalbi Belkahia was an Executive Committee member of ISoP in 2002-2003, a keen participant in ESOP (European Society of Pharmacovigilance)/ISoP meetings and he played an important role in the founding of the Society internationally by organizing successfully the very first international ISoP annual meeting in 2001 in Tunis-Carthage, just a few weeks after 9/11.

He was Vice-President of the Society from 2003 to 2006 and became a honorary member in 2010.
He will be missed and today our thoughts and prayers are with Prof Belkahia’s family and friends.