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Stewart Sinclair Jessamine

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 26 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1872
  1. Peter Abernethy,
  2. Linda Stephen

Stewart Jessamine was a world leading medicines expert and public servant. Raised in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, he studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, where he met his Malaysian wife, Siew Gueh. After the birth of their daughter, Kathryn, Stewart and Siew Gueh emigrated to New Zealand in 1987, where Stewart started his professional career as a GP in a series of small towns. At a GP conference in the early 1990s he heard an appeal for GPs to consider switching from “poachers” to “gamekeepers,” and in 1993 he joined the New Zealand Ministry of Health, where he was a dedicated and innovative leader for 25 years.

The therapeutics section he joined at the ministry soon morphed into Medsafe, responsible for medicine regulation, and Stewart went from providing resources and liaising with GPs to managing the unit. He moved higher in the ministry and picked up broader public health and regulatory work, with more staff and a …

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