IN MEMORIAM Noël Wathion

August 17, 2023

Just over a year ago, we were honored to hand over to Noël Wathion the first Healixia award for his outstanding contribution to the pharmaceutical landscape. Today, we unfortunately have to say goodbye to this inspiring man.

Noel WathionGraduated as pharmacist, at the very beginning of his career, he worked as a file manager at the Pharmaceutical Inspection and developed into a pharmacovigilance expert and acted as the Belgian member of the CPMP, before moving in 1996 to EMA as Head of Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance.

Within EMA he built up an impressive track record supporting five Executive Directors and carrying numerous roles and responsibilities. In 2016, he was appointed Deputy Executive Director and took on the additional role of Chief of Policy. He chaired EMA's Operations and Relocation Preparedness (ORP) Task Force, set up following the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU, as well as EMA’s COVID-19 Steering Group. He retired from EMA in 2021.

He has always shown strong leadership and was instrumental in steering the Agency successfully through periods of particular challenge such as Brexit and COVID-19. He will also be remembered as a champion of transparency and public engagement, an area where EMA has led the way worldwide, thanks to his work and commitment.

All this time, Noël was happy to share his thoughts and experience with BRAS and later Healixia. Repeatedly, he has captivated our members with his feedback on achievements and expected challenges. His knowledge was immense.

Born and raised in the beautiful Limburg, he was always eager to return there. Even during his professional career abroad – first London then followed by Amsterdam - he arranged to spend his weekends at home to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. It will never be the same… He will surely be missed this warm-hearted and good-humored man who could talk to anyone!

We offer our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.

Healixia Board & Regulatory Group