WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) announced today that Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO, would be stepping down from his position in the fall of 2015. Neas has led the organization since September of 2011. During his remaining tenure, Neas will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named and will work to ensure a smooth and effective leadership transition for GPhA's members, employees and stakeholders. Neas is leaving GPhA to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and to work on critical issues such as non-partisan election reform.
Neas commented, "It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with my GPhA colleagues to help ensure access to safe and affordable medicines, which save patients and the health care system hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Over the past 12 months, I have been talking to a number of Board members and staff about the next chapter in my life. This joint decision today will allow the GPhA Board of Directors and I to execute a smooth leadership transition and also allow me the time to explore leadership opportunities that have been presented to me regarding nonpartisan electoral reform and various entrepreneurial ventures in affordable health care, as well as the chance to resume part-time writing and teaching. I am especially proud of the exceptional GPhA team that has been built and how together we have achieved numerous legislative victories; protected the historic Hatch-Waxman Act; promoted future access to biosimilars medicines at the state, national and international levels; and enhanced our relationships with the FDA, Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, and the Executive Branch."
GPhA's Board Chairman, Craig Wheeler, President and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, expressed the gratitude of the Board and staff to Ralph. Wheeler commented, "Ralph Neas has brought his leadership to GPhA during a challenging period for the industry. Under his watch we have achieved significant programmatic successes that have increased the visibility and impact of GPhA and helped to support the generic industry and its mission to bring affordable medicines to the patients who need them. As Ralph prepares for his next chapter, he leaves GPhA with improved financial health, a capable and committed staff and renewed commitment from its members. We are a stronger trade organization because of Ralph."
GPhA will begin a search for a new CEO immediately. Neas will also be available through spring of 2016 to support and advise new leadership and ensure a successful transition for the trade association.
GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals fill 86 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but consume just 27 percent of the total drug spending. Additional information is available at gphaonline.org. Follow us on twitter: @gpha.