Roland MEHL, Founder

The Prix Galien was created in France in 1970 by a pharmacist named Roland Mehl. Its aim was to promote significant advances in pharmaceutical research. Until the creation of the Prix Galien, this field of research had remained largely unrecognized.

A prominent jury was brought together comprised of clinicians, toxicologists, pharmacologists and pharmacists. Each year the award has been an opportunity to give credit to the most important drugs introduced into the public market as well as to honor the achievements of the best research team in the pharmaceutical field. Since its creation the Galien award has grown into a major event. It is seen as an influential event by all stakeholders in pharmaceutical research, including public authorities, scientists, pharmaceutical companies and medical press groups. It is considered the industry’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize and the highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development.

The importance of the Prix Galien in France has led to similar initiatives in several other countries. The first countries after France to create their own Galien awards were Belgium and Luxembourg in 1982, followed by Germany in 1984 and the Netherlands in 1985. In 1988 the United Kingdom created a Galien award, followed by Italy in 1989, Spain in 1990, Portugal in 1993, Canada in 1993, Switzerland in 2001, the United States in 2007 and Poland, Greece and Singapore in 2012.

In addition, a European Galien award was created in Paris in 1990 to honor the winners of the national Galien awards in each of the previous two years. This prize was also awarded in Brussels in 1992 and Berlin in 1994. After Canada introduced its own prize, the European Galien award was turned into an International Galien award in 1996 at ceremony in London.

The first annual Prix Galien Russia medals were awarded during an exclusive Gala ceremony in Moscow on the 24th of October 2013.

The Mission

The Prix Galien is more than an award: it is a movement with a mandate to foster, recognize and reward excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health.

Our scope is global, and our commitment to progress in medicine is both measurable and concrete. Our members express this through the establishment of productive relationships to build lasting bridges between the commercial research enterprise and local communities engaged in public policy, science, finance, academic research and the media.

The outcome we seek is guided by the synthesis principle that underpins the conduct of science itself: successful innovation, where financing, physical assets, knowledge and skills are combined from many sources to move new ideas quickly “from the bench to the bedside,” on behalf of patients everywhere.

We invite all communities with a commitment to the conduct and promotion of life sciences innovation to contribute to this important work.


Innovative: A jury of scientists evaluates the innovation process and the improvement to human condition. Criteria such as marketing, distribution are not taken into account.

Independent: We receive no sponsor money from candidates and pharmaceutical companies. Juries work on a voluntary basis and are not involved in the organization of the event or fund raising.

International: With over 18 countries organizing Galien events, this award has become the most coveted international recognition of innovation for pharmaceutical companies.

The Prize

“…the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize…”

The Prix Galien recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines, and is now considered the industry’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the highest accolade for pharmaceutical research and development. The Prix Galien awards outstanding achievements in improving the global human condition through the development of innovative therapies.

The Prix Galien will be inaugurated in Moscow, Russia in 2013 under the auspice of an exceptional awards committee composed of eminent specialists involved in the sphere of Russian and international pharmaceutical research.

Who was Galien?

An anatomist, physiologist, clinician and researcher, Galien is the father of modern medicine and pharmacology. His work has been considered an authoritative reference for over two millenia.

Galien was born in AD 131 in Pergamos in what is now modern day Turkey. He studied in Smyrna, Corinth and Alexandria, the three centres of medical excellence in the ancient world. According to legend, the Greek god of medicine Aesclapius appeared to Galien in a dream, inspiring his chosen profession and life’s calling.

When he turned 17, Galien worked as a physician at a gladiators’ training centre. Marcus Aurelius summoned him to Rome when he was 37 and living in Aquila. In Rome, he grew in reputation and stature as a healer, teacher, researcher and writer. His ideas on the functioning of the human body were so well received that he became the personal doctor of young Commodus, the emperor’s heir. Galien died in AD 201. During his long and eminent life, Galen completed over five hundred pieces of work relating to anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical theory and practice and many forms of therapy. His work formed the basis of the school of thought known as ‘Galenism’ which dominated medical thinking until the Renaissance. He traveled for a period of time throughout the world, studying local plants and remedies. He discovered 473 original drugs, many of which originated from minerals and vegetation. He was the first scientist to codify the art to prepare active drugs with ingredients and vehicles.

His faculties of observation, logic and deduction made him the true successor to Hippocrates and his views on patient care as the prime aim of medicine have formed the very cornerstone of modern pharmacy.

The Prix Galien Medal

Albert de Jaeger (1908-1992), recipient of the premier Grand prix de Rome architectural prize, designed the Prix Galien medal. He designed the Weizsman Institute medal as well as medals for prominent figures such as Popes Pius XII and Jean Paul I; US Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy; artists and literary figures Sacha Guitry, Marcel Proust and Henri de Montherlant; distinguished royalty Princess Grace of Monaco and Farah Diba, empress of Iran ; distinguished military leaders; Nobel Prize laureates and many more. De Jaeger also designed many outstanding monuments in France and throughout the world.