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Obituary Fritz Bühler

It is with great sorrow that IFAPP has to inform about the demise of Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Fritz R. Bühler, Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine. He passed away on 05 April 2017 at the age of 77 years.

Fritz Bühler studied medicine in Basel, Switzerland, and was educated in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. In the 1970s he was Assistant Professor at Columbia University and at New York Hospital working with Professor John H. Laragh. Later in his career he was Visiting Professor in Cardiology at Harvard Medical School.

After his return to the University of Basel Fritz Bühler ensured that the University of Basel became a main focal point of Clinical Hypertension and Hypertension Research. In 1983 he became Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiology and in 1989 he was elected Director of the Research Department and received a full professorship in Pathophysiology. His research achievements in the field of cardiology were much acclaimed.

In 1991 Fritz Bühler became Head of Worldwide Clinical Research and Development at Hoffmann-La Roche where he stayed until 1996.

In 1991, during his tenure at Hoffmann-La Roche Fritz Bühler initiated the European Center for Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM) and made it a training platform for the development of medicines of high renown. The ECPM training course encompasses all aspects of drug development ranging from the discovery of molecules via the clinical phase to the post-marketing phase and the use of medicines in patients and also covers legal and patent issues, the regulatory requirements and pharmacovigilance. Fritz Bühler was highly committed to both academic teaching and research and very dedicated to inter-university collaboration in accordance with the Bologna system. During his involvement with the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public private partnership between the EU Commission and EFPIA, he chaired and advanced PharmaTrain, an EU project aiming to establish and harmonize basic and advanced post-graduate training modules to teach experts in the pharmaceutical industry but also in academia, regulatory agencies and other institutes in the development of novel, high-quality drugs and therapies He actively supported the extension of pharmaceutical medicine education to the Central European Countries of the European Union. Many Master and Diploma programs in pharmaceutical medicine were thus advanced and harmonized across Europe at multiple universities. He also was elected as first President of the newly developed PharmaTrain Federation, the global not-for-profit organisation of course providers and interested individuals accrediting training courses that fulfill the PharmaTrain quality standards and content.

Fritz Bühler was one of the founding fathers of the Swiss Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals (SwAPP) and the Swiss Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine (SGPM) and greatly supported the Swiss physicians’ specialization in Pharmaceutical Medicine (FMH acknowledged). He was a regular speaker at their annual symposium and became President of IFAPP’s International Conference in Pharmaceutical Medicine (ICPM) in Geneva in 2004.

Fritz was a visionary in devising professional standards in pharmaceutical medicine and medicines development. He envisioned and stimulated the development of professional competencies to guide educational programs, job profiles and job portfolios. He inspired the development of a global statement of competence in our profession.

His commitment to the training and promoting of young people was highly commendable. Via his excellent global network Fritz Bühler inspired the creation of educational programs in the USA and China. We will greatly miss Fritz Bühler’s exceptional talent to bring together people and knowledge, as much as his untiring endeavor to explore new horizons.


PharmaTrain – Pharmaceutical Medicines Training Programme 

PharmaTrain (Pharmaceutical Medicines Training Programme) is the European platform for postgraduate training in Medicines Development and fosters the training needs and quality for all professionals in this field. The main objective of PharmaTrain is to bring newly created as well as longer existing Diploma (Base) Courses, Master Programmes and CPD courses to a European quality level. Such high-level training, based on the achieved PharmaTrain Shared Standards in Medicines Development in Europe, will make the drug development process faster, more economical, more tailored to patients’ needs, and will give Europe a global advantage in developing new innovative medicines. The development of e-learning products supports this objective.

PharmaTrain is one of the 15 projects belonging to the first call of the Innovative Medicines Initiative IMI launched in 2008. The consortium includes 22 Universities and 11 Learned Societies (33 public partners), 15 EFPIA private partners and 3 Advisors. The project started on May 1, 2009 and is funded for five years.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is Europe’s largest public-private partnership aiming to improve the drug development process by supporting a more efficient discovery and development of better and safer medicines for patients.  With a €2 billion euro budget, IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of experts from industry, academia, SMEs, patient organisations and regulatory authorities in Europe that will boost innovation in healthcare.
IMI supports research projects in the areas of safety and efficacy, knowledge management and education and training. Projects are selected through open Calls for proposals.

PharmaTrain Executive Offices

Dr. Ingrid Klingmann, Head of Office
Leonilde Vaz

Main office in Brussels:

Square de Meeûs – Rue de l’Industrie 4
BE-1000 Brussels, Belgium

University Basel, ECPM
Klingelbergstr. 61
4056 Basel

Phone: +41 61 267 19 44 / 19 50

Fax: +41 61 267 19 48