Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier elected as PhRMA's next board chairman
- Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier has been elected as the next chairman of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), according to a press release from the organization.
- Frazier will replace the current board chairman, Pfizer CEO Ian Read. He was elected during a PhRMA board meeting on Thursday.
- Some other big changes to PhRMA's executive roster that were announced at the board meeting: the trade group's current president and CEO, John Castellani, will retire from his position effective January 1, 2016; Biogen CEO George Scangos was elected as the board's next chairman-elect; and Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals chair Joaquin Duato was elected as PhRMA's next board treasurer.
Frazier was already the chairman-elect of the board, so perhaps it's not entirely surprising that he won election to the permanent position. But it's yet another strong endorsement for a man who has helped grow Merck since taking over as chief in 2011 (and who joined the ranks of top-paid pharma CEOs in 2014 with a cool $25 million).
"PhRMA is pleased to welcome Ken Frazier as chairman, and we extend our thanks and gratitude to Ian Read for his invaluable contributions over the last year," said Castellani in a statement. "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."
In his own comments, Frazier focused on the future and an exciting period of change for biotech and pharma companies. "Our industry is poised to translate our most promising scientific breakthroughs into meaningful treatments capable of tackling the most urgent and vexing medical challenges of our times," said Frazier. “We stand committed to driving progress for patients today—and hope for tomorrow.
"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, and congratulate George and Joaquin as they take on new leadership roles. Together, and in partnership with all stakeholders in the health care ecosystem, we’ll work to create a policy environment that is conducive to building a sustainable, value-driven health care system that serves all of us."