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Sadly Per Hartvig died in December last year aged 70 years old. Per was a long-standing member of the EJHP editorial board initially as editor for EJHP science and then as an associate editor on the combined science and practice journal. As the previous editor of the science part of the journal, he fought hard to ensure that science remained as a key part of what was published in EJHP.
Early in my career, I was greatly influenced by a pharmacist who was a scientist at heart. He was always looking for solutions to challenging problems that would seem impossible to others and could and would think outside the box. Per Hartvig came from a similar mould. I only recently learned that Per was involved in developing PET (positron emission tomography) technology, how many pharmacists can make that claim? He also played a role in the fight against antibiotic resistance and maintained a wide knowledge of many aspects of pharmacy and pharmacology. He loved to educate his students and many of them have great memories many years later.
I first met him after being appointed Editor in Chief of EJHP in 2012. My task was to bring an evidence-based approach to the journal, as well as improving the scientific credibility. As far as Per was concerned, I needed to prove that I could do this. My early days were frequently interrupted by robust emails from Per about something that I had or had not done, or that the quality of the science in the journal was deteriorating. He was not irrational but passionate about his views and over time we developed a deep respect for one another. Not only was he keen to impart his knowledge to me but also wanted to learn from me, particularly on such topics as systematic reviews and chronic pain.
Early in 2015, it became clear that Per’s health was deteriorating due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neurone disease (MND) evidenced by his increasing use of a wheelchair. His wife Eva accompanied him to a meeting of EJHP editors in Sofia. The disease affected his physical abilities increasingly in his last year of life. While we are enthusiastic about our medical advances, ALS/MND reminds us that there is still much to be done.
My remaining and very special memory is spending a delightful evening around a meal at Per and Eva's home last summer. Per leaves a gap that is difficult to fill. He will be missed both by the journal team and the wider EAHP community and we remember him with gratitude for his outstanding contribution.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.