Christopher Viehbacher Continues as PhRMA Board Chair; John Lechleiter, Robert Hugin Assume New Posts

Christopher Viehbacher Continues as PhRMA Board Chair; John Lechleiter, Robert Hugin Assume New Posts

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2011) — Christopher Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis, resumed his role as board chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today at the trade association’s annual meeting in Jersey City, New Jersey. John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eli Lilly and Company, was elected as chairman-elect of the PhRMA Board of Directors, and Robert J. Hugin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation, was elected PhRMA’s board treasurer.

Mr. Viehbacher assumed the chairmanship in December 2010.

“Chris Viehbacher’s leadership over the last four months has helped to reinvigorate the biopharmaceutical research sector at a time when America’s global leadership in medical innovation is at risk,” said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. “The remaining year in his term represents an opportunity for the sector to help America return to economic stability with support from sound state, federal and international policies that incentivize innovation and the jobs that it creates.”

Mr. Viehbacher was named chief executive officer of sanofi-aventis in December 2008. He serves on the sanofi-aventis board and Strategy Committee. After beginning his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, between 1988 and 2008 he acquired broad international experience in Europe, the U.S. and Canada in various roles with GlaxoSmithKline. In his last position, Mr. Viehbacher was President, Pharmaceutical Operations North America, a member of the board and Co-Chairman of the Portfolio Management Board.

“I believe that the United States still provides global leadership in terms of biopharmaceutical research and development, thanks to an historically favorable environment for innovation,” said Mr. Viehbacher. “And while America’s economy has benefited from that strength, so too have millions of patients in the U.S. and around the globe, whose lives have been changed, and even saved, thanks to the tremendous medical breakthroughs that result from that innovative work. Ours is an area with increasing competition and a level of change throughout the industry that is absolutely without precedent, but with support from policymakers and other stakeholders, I’m confident that we can continue to create jobs and to bring patients the promise of new medicines.”

Dr. Lechleiter has served as chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company since April 2008 and as chairman since January 2009. He became president and chief operating officer of Lilly in 2005, when he also joined the company's board. 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, and in 2004, he became Lilly’s executive vice president for pharmaceutical operations.

“As a scientist and as someone who has spent my entire career in the research-based biopharmaceutical industry, I know first-hand the importance of bringing new medicines to patients, and the challenges and complexity of making that a reality,” said Lechleiter. “By assuming this leadership role on PhRMA's Board of Directors, I look forward to helping advance policies that will enable people around the world to benefit from the work that our companies carry out.”

Robert J. Hugin has been president and CEO of Celgene since June 2010, prior to which he had been president and chief operating officer since May 2006. Having served as senior vice president and chief financial officer from June 1999, he was elected by the Board of Directors to serve as a director in December 2001. Previously, Mr. Hugin had been a managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., which he joined in 1985. He received an A.B. degree from Princeton University in 1976 and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1985, having served as a United States Marine Corps infantry officer during the intervening period.

“As the head of a growing biopharmaceutical research company, I understand all too well how policy, regulatory and market fluctuations can pose significant challenges to the work that we do,” said Mr. Hugin. “This is true for all biopharmaceutical firms, which rely on massive investment in R&D today in order to improve patients’ lives and better secure the future of our businesses tomorrow.”


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 $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.

Find PhRMA Online:

For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For information on ensuring the flow of medicines during public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org

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