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Vella’s last stand

Image: Aidssociety91 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The head of Italy’s drugs research agency stepped down last month over the treatment of refugees. Now he is forced to defend his decision to ‘go political’.

“I did not resign in protest.”

This might sound curious from the mouth of a man who just abandoned one of Italy’s most prestigious science jobs. But Stefano Vella, a physician who specialises in AIDS and access to care, says his decision to leave his post as president of Aifa (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco), Italy’s drugs agency, was a moral question, not a personal choice.

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