BOSTON, April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, was elected chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today at the trade association's annual meeting. Also elected were Celgene Corporation President, CEO, and Chairman Robert J. Hugin as chairman-elect of the PhRMA Board of Directors, and Ian C. Read, president and CEO of Pfizer, Inc., as board treasurer.
Dr. Lechleiter succeeds Christopher Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, as PhRMA's chairman.
"Chris has been indispensable to PhRMA on many fronts, providing invaluable leadership as the industry navigates the evolving policy and regulatory landscapes essential to continued innovation while always putting patients first," said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. "As Dr. Lechleiter assumes the chairman role, we can all feel comfort knowing that the patient-centered approaches we utilize in all our advocacy efforts will continue to be central to our mission of advancing innovation in the U.S and worldwide. It is an honor to work closely with these visionary, passionate leaders of our sector."
Dr. Lechleiter has served as chairman, president, and CEO of Lilly since 2008. He became president and chief operating officer of Lilly in 2005, when he joined the company's board of directors. His career at Lilly began in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development -- a department he later led in 1982. He was named executive vice president for pharmaceutical products and corporate development in 2001. In 2004, he became Lilly's executive vice president for pharmaceutical operations.
"I'm honored to lead PhRMA during this very important time in the history of our industry," Dr. Lechleiter said. "PhRMA member companies play an incredibly important role in the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective health care for our citizens. Continued progress against diseases like Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and diabetes requires policies that enable medical innovation to thrive. I look forward to the opportunity to advance these important conversations at an industry level."
Mr. Hugin became CEO of Celgene Corporation in June of 2010 having served as president and COO since May 2006. In June 2011, the Board of Directors elected Mr. Hugin Chairman. He was instrumental in the strategic growth of the company overseeing the expansion of Celgene from a US-based biopharmaceutical company to a global company with operations in more than 50 countries located in the Americas, Europe, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. He joined Celgene as senior vice president and chief financial officer in June 1999 and was elected to the Board of Directors in December 2001.
"Advances in healthcare will continue to be a critical source of breakthroughs extending and improving patients' lives, reducing overall healthcare costs and driving economic growth," Mr. Hugin said. "Through PhRMA, America's biopharmaceutical companies work together with government, physicians, health care payers and patient advocates to build supportive policies for biomedical innovation, designed to deliver disease-altering treatments for patients through transformational science."
Mr. Read was named chairman and CEO of Pfizer in December 2010. He began his career with Pfizer in 1978 as an operational auditor. Mr. Read worked in Latin America through 1995, holding positions in a number of Pfizer's international operations. In 1996, he was appointed president of Pfizer's International Pharmaceuticals Group, with responsibility for Latin America and Canada. He became executive vice president, Europe in 2000, and was named a corporate vice president in 2001. In 2006, he became senior vice president, Pfizer, and group president of the Worldwide Biopharmaceutical Businesses.
"This industry works at the heart of the United States' innovative core, and it will help power the nation's continued economic resurgence," Read said. "As industry and the country grow stronger, so will the benefits for patients that need and deserve them."
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.