It was with great sadness that the EMCDDA learned of the passing of Richard Hartnoll on 8 December, following a long illness.

Richard made a major contribution to the development of the European drug information system, first through his work with the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group and, subsequently, through his pioneering work at the EMCDDA.

Richard was involved in the activities of the EMCDDA from its very outset, joining the agency as Head of the Epidemiology Department in 1995. He worked at the agency until mid-2002, and in these years, made a substantial contribution to the development of the current EU drug monitoring system. In many ways, he can be regarded as the father figure of the EMCDDA’s core epidemiological indicators.

Before joining the agency, Richard worked at the influential Drug Indicators Project in London, and at the Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM) in Barcelona.

His work spanned all of the critical drug monitoring questions of the day — and included the development work that resulted in Europe’s current approach to monitoring drug treatment.

In his retirement, Richard found a new love, photography, and would enjoy strolling through Lisbon with a camera in his hand, often inviting his former colleagues to his exhibitions.

He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues at the EMCDDA and we send our condolences to his loving family.