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Sanofi CEO Viehbacher to head EFPIA

Assumes presidency at European trade body

Sanofi EFPIA Christopher ViehbacherChristopher Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, has assumed his position as president of the trade body the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Indsutries and Asoications (EFPIA).

He was elected to the position in November 2012 to replace GlaxoSmithKline's Andrew Witty, and will remain as president for two years during which time he will lead the pharma indsutry's main voice in Europe in working with the EU and member states.

Viehbacher said he was “extremely honoured” with his election, and commented that economic challenges mean a different approach to healthcare is needed going forward.

“[G]iven the chronic deficits of healthcare systems, we must work differently, build collaborative policies and combine our strengths at both national and European levels,” he said.

“As we want healthcare to be a growth engine for Europe, our industry must focus on three priorities: patient access, science & innovation and competitiveness.”

One of the most pressing matters for EFPIA is the seemingly inevitable trend towards transparency of trial data, and Viehbacher has already commented on the subject.

He said that the stance taken by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) threatens to make commercially confidential information available to competitors around the world and any change has to be carried out "intelligently" to avoid damaging the sector.

In addition to serving as CEO of Sanofi since 2008, Viehbacher is also chairman of Genzyme, which Sanofi acquired in 2011, and has held the chair at US pharma body PhRMA between December 2010 and April 2012.

He started his career in finance at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining GlaxoSmithKline in 1988, rising to president of Pharmaceutical Operations North America before joining Sanofi.

26th June 2013

From: Sales, Regulatory

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