PhrMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin announced on Friday that he will step down from his post after five years with the pharmaceutical lobby group.
The move comes amid speculation that the President’s healthcare reform bill has stalled in Congress thanks in part to the recent Republican Senate win in Massachusetts. Tauzin was an integral part of the reform bill, both representing the pharmaceutical industry in negotiations and agreeing to cut prescription drug costs by $80 billion over the next 10 years.
Tauzin’s resignation also comes after the group spent $100 million in ads to support the President’s plan—money that appears to have been spent for nothing.
The bill was not mentioned in PhRMA’s press release announcing the resignation. Instead, it focused on the positive aspects of Tauzin’s tenure including the launch of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance program and his push for voluntary codes for direct to consumer advertising, as well as the establishment of rules for relationships between industry and physicians.
“Billy brought a new openness to PhRMA’s advocacy, ensuring that we partner with anyone willing to join us in our fight against disease,” stated David Brennan, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca and chairman of PhRMA. “We wish him the best as he turns the page on another successful chapter in his career. With Billy’s strong leadership and commitment to PhRMA’s mission, the Board is confident that we can ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.”
No word yet as to who is being considered for the job.