Vale Andrew Herxheimer, 1925-2016

Andrew Herxheimer, one of our original HAI supporters died on Sunday February 21, at the age of 90.  We wish his wife Christine and daughters Charlotte andrew-herxheimerand Sophie all the strength in this difficult period.

Below is the tribute to Andrew prepared by Dato Anwar Fazal:

Dr Andrew Herxheimer was  the first Chair of the HEALTH WORKING GROUP of the International Organisation of Consumers Union (IOCU) now Consumers International. It was set up in 1978 the year I was elected to the Presidency of IOCU. He was then editor (since 1963) of the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin published by Consumers Association UK  … an amazing outreach which went to prescribing Doctors in the United Kingdom.
He lead the first two iconic IOCU medical projects on chloramphenicol and clioquinol … and they became the early flagship campaigns of the health movement and helped us grow in visibility and action.
Andrew was with us as part of the core in Geneva when we launched Health Action International (HAI) with representation from 26 countries on 29th May 1981…
Our founding  press statement called HAI an “International  Antibody”  to resist “Ill-treatment of Consumers by Multinational Drug Companies”.
I shall also never forget two others who were with me at the launching press conference: Ronald Fett of  BUKO, a German  coalition of development NGOs and Charles Medawar also from the UK  who played a key role in the early years of HAI.
(Charles wrote INSULT OR INJURY on British food and drug products in 1979 published by his Social Audit.  It  also co-published in with IOCU the classic PHARMACEUTICALS AND HEALTH POLICY which was a great compilation of international perspectives compiled by Andrew and Richard Blum in 1981 which also became one of HAI’s early flagship resources.

Thank you Andrew for all the support in those early years.
Anwar Fazal

Ken Harvey said:  I too have fond memories of Andrew, especially of him dancing around the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang in shorts featuring the Union Jack flag at a HAIAP meeting!
Also for his work as editor of the Drug & Therapeutics Bulletin, his support for the International Society of Drug Bulletins (of which Australian Prescriber and Therapeutic Guidelines are members) and more recently his work with DIPEx on collecting patient experiences  of major illness and health-related conditions.
When Heath Action International was born, Andrew noted that in German the word ‘Hai’ means ‘shark’, and Surendra Patel, Technology Director of UNCTAD, said, “When the sharks threaten the fishes, the fishes must join together to defend themselves.” As we did and will keep on doing, in memory of Andrew!

Andrew Herxheimer’s lecture in memory of Olle HansonEssential Drugs in Developing Countries, to students in Gothenberg, Sweden, was reproduced as an edited version in HAI News, Number 57, 1991.

The tribute from the World Health Organisation can be seen here

Here is an extract from an interview Andrew gave to celebrate his 90th
birthday in November, 2015.
Read more:

Tributes can be pasted on Andrew’s facebook page:

Peter Mansfield posted the following with a photo on Andrew’s Facebook page: 



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