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Questions raised over official’s pharma move

A high-ranking official from the European Commission’s research department has taken a position at a pharmaceutical company, prompting concern over conflicts of interest.

Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, one of three deputy directors general in the Commission’s research directorate general, is leaving to join the US company Merck and Co as vice-president for public health and scientific affairs on 1 June, the news website Science Business reported yesterday.

Several people questioned the propriety of the news on microblogging site Twitter. For example Helle Aagaard, a policy adviser at the antibiotics resistance advocacy organisation ReAct, asked: “How is that OK?”. She flagged the European Ombudsman in her tweet.

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