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Aifa, the newly appointed president Palù resigns

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Aifa, the newly appointed president Palù resigns

The Medicines Agency in Italy has been thrown into turmoil with the surprise resignation of its president, Giorgio Palù, less than two weeks after his appointment. Palù, a Venetian virologist, cited the government’s decision to limit his term to just one year as the reason for his departure, calling it “offensive and humiliating”.

The 75-year-old Palù, who was heavily sponsored by Matteo Salvini, expressed his disappointment at the lack of consideration given to him by the Minister, stating that the decision to limit his term had not been raised during his first mandate, even though he was already retired. He pointed out that the law which prohibits multi-year top management positions for retirees applies to general managers and other managerial figures, not to presidents and boards of directors, as clarified in a 2015 circular from the Department of Public Function.

The resignation of Palù has sparked a wave of reactions from political figures, with Luca Zaia expressing his support for Palù, while Marcello Gemmato cited “a lack of alignment of views on the project for the profound revision of the Agency and on the necessary ability to work as a team”. Andrea Crisanti, on the other hand, celebrated Palù’s resignation, reflecting the division and political tensions surrounding the issue.

The future of the agency now hangs in the balance, with the Minister considering potential successors for Palù. One name that has been suggested is Guido Rasi, former director of AIFA and head of the European Medicines Agency, despite being over 70 years old and currently leading a think tank sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

The revolving doors of the Italian Medicines Agency continue to turn, raising concerns about independence and the future direction of the organization. The political controversy surrounding Palù’s resignation has only added to the uncertainty and instability within the agency, leaving many questions unanswered about its future leadership and governance.

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