Lives of the fellows

Bengt-Erik Wiholm

b.17 March 1944 d.30 July 2005
MB Karolinska(1970) MD(1980) PhD(1985) FRCP(1996)

Bengt-Erik Wiholm, known as ‘Beje’, was a leading pharmacoepidemiologist. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of Stig and Inga Wiholm, both physicians. Wiholm was educated at Beskow School and then studied medicine at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.

From 1972 to 1976, Wiholm was a registrar in the department of internal medicine at the Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital. He then worked as a registrar at the department of clinical pharmacology, also at Huddinge.

In 1979 Wiholm joined the staff of the National Board of Health and Welfare’s department of drugs. He wrote his thesis on adverse on drug reactions as a reason for hospitalisation, and was awarded his MD in 1980. He later took over leadership of the section of adverse reactions. In 1983 Wiholm was appointed head of the newly-formed unit of pharmacoepidemiology at the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA). In 1999 he was appointed acting professor in pharmacoepidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, with the idea of fostering cooperation between the Karolinska and the MPA. He was jointly head of pharmacovigilance at the MPA.

In addition to his research and writings on drug safety, he organised a national network for the detection of rare drug reactions.

In 2000, Wiholm left Sweden for the US, where he worked at Hoechst-Marion-Roussel and then at Merck, Sharpe and Dohme. He was a founder and former president of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology.

In 1972 he married Clairy, a physiotherapist. They had a son (David) and two daughters (Wilda and Andrea). Wiholm died at the Watkins Glen race track, Pennsylvania, while racing his Porsche. In 2008, the International Society for Pharmacovigilance initiated the Bengt-Erik Wiholm lecture in his memory.

RCP editor

[Drug Safety 2009;32(3):181-5; The Drug Safety Wiki – accessed 11 May 2012]

(Volume XII, page web)

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