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Barker to step down as ABPI director general

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has announced Dr Richard Barker is to step down as director general in May 2011

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has announced Dr Richard Barker is to step down as director general in May 2011 at the Association's annual meeting.

Dr Barker took over the position in August 2004 following roles as chief executive of Chiron's diagnostic division, general manager of IBM's worldwide healthcare business and leader of McKinsey's European healthcare practice.

"My time at the ABPI has been both challenging and fulfilling and I have been proud to represent this vital industry,” said Dr Barker. "It is both an engine of growth to support economic recovery and a continuing source of new medicines and vaccines to help the NHS deliver improved health.

"With the UK environment going through further rapid and dynamic evolution, next year will be a good time to hand over the reins to a new leader. I look forward to pursuing new opportunities outside the Association in the future, principally in healthcare. In the meantime, I am very much focused on continuing the vital work we are doing at the ABPI."

The ABPI has said the search for a new director general is to begin immediately with plans for an appointment in Spring 2011. Following this handover, Dr Barker will act as senior advisor to the Association for up to a year.

Until Dr Barker steps down, he will continue with the ABPI's ongoing plans, including aiding the industry's engagement with its members and stakeholders as the coalition government's healthcare reforms are administered, as well as the relocation of the Association to new offices.

Speaking on the announcement, Simon Jose, president of the ABPI, said: "Under [Dr Barker's] leadership, the industry has worked increasingly closely and constructively with the UK Government and he played a leading role in establishing the Office for Life Sciences, and from it the launch of the UK's Life Sciences Supercluster and personalised medicine initiatives.

"Richard has also led the ABPI through an important evolution internally, which has established some firm foundations that his successor will be able to build on as we look to take the ABPI forward into a new era."

7th October 2010

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