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New PhRMA CEO

Business lobbyist, John J Castellani, will replace Billy Tauzin as CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

John J Castellani, a high-profile business lobbyist, will take the top position at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), replacing Billy Tauzin, the former US Congressman who served as the trade group's president and CEO from January 2005 until earlier this year.

Castellani was most recently president and CEO of Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading US companies – including pharma firms like Pfizer, Merck and sanofi-aventis (S-A) – which between them have almost $6trn in annual revenues and employ more than 12 million people.

Earlier in his career, Castellani served as executive vice president at the conglomerate Tenneco; vice president for resources and technology at the National Association of Manufacturers, a multi-industry trade association; and vice president of State, Federal and International Government Relations for the automotive and aerospace corporation TRW.

Castellani was selected for the role at PhRMA by a search committee led by David Brennan, president and CEO of AstraZeneca (AZ). His new position is effective September 1, 2010.

Tauzin transitioned to a position as senior advisor at PhRMA earlier this year after a leadership tenure that was generally considered successful but was marked by controversy from the beginning. Many watchdog groups and media outlets objected to his jump from chairing the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the drug industry, to the lucrative post at the top of the industry trade group.

During his time at PhRMA, Tauzin also drew fire for his role in the 2009 healthcare reform negotiations, which resulted in the industry offering the government $80bn in savings related to drug costs in return for a number of legislative concessions.

14th July 2010

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