Changing of the Guard at PhRMA

April 20, 2015 – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) last week announced changes to its board – including the appointment of Merck’s Kenneth C. Frazier as chairman of the PhRMA Board – as well as the upcoming retirement of PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani.

“PhRMA is pleased to welcome Ken Frazier as chairman, and we extend our thanks and gratitude to [outgoing Board Chair, Pfizer Chairman and CEO] Ian Read for his invaluable contributions over the last year,” Castellani said. “Our member companies have never invested more in researching and developing innovative, targeted new medicines to fight life-threatening diseases. Ken’s proven leadership ability and deep experience in the biopharmaceutical industry will be incredible assets for our organization and its member companies,” he noted.

Frazier, Merck’s chairman and CEO since 2011, has spent 23 years with that company; prior to joining Merck he was a partner with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath. He also sits on the boards of Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Exxon Mobil Corp., The Pennsylvania State University and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia.

“We stand committed to driving progress for patients today – and hope for tomorrow,” Frazier said. “This imperative of inventing and innovating with the patient in mind has come to represent the industry I am proud to represent. I am honored to step into this role.”

PhRMA also announced April 16 that Biogen CEO George A. Scangos was elected as chairman-elect of the Board, and that Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Chairman for Pharmaceuticals Joaquin Duato was elected as Board treasurer.

Castellani, who served in his current position since 2010, will step down Jan. 1, 2016, according to PhRMA. “I want to thank John for his steadfast leadership at PhRMA over the past five years,” stated Frazier. “He has been a strong advocate on behalf of the biopharmaceutical research industry and for the millions of patients we serve all around the world,” he continued. “Under John’s leadership, PhRMA has worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen an environment that fosters the continued development of new life-saving therapies and to ensure patients can access the medicines they need to live longer, healthier lives.”

Castellani stated that it “has been an honor and a privilege” to serve as PhRMA president, and added that “PhRMA is in good hands with the tremendous leadership provided by Ken and the rest of the Board of Directors and a hard-working, talented and dedicated team that is committed to the mission of the organization and its members.”