The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), which represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe, has designated Christopher A. Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, as the new president elect of EFPIA. He will take up the position as of June 2013 for a two year term.
Viehbacher’s designation comes at a key moment for the pharmaceutical industry. The European institutions are now focusing on a growth agenda in which the pharmaceutical industry will play a fundamental role. This has been stated by President Barroso’s state of the union address, as well as the reindustrialization policy launched by the Commission’s DG Entreprise in October of this year.
Since December 2008, Viehbacher has held the position of CEO at Sanofi and is a board member, in addition to being a member of the strategy committee. He is also chairman of Genzyme, which Sanofi acquired in February 2011.
Viehbacher started his career in finance at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 1988. Throughout the next 20 years with the company, he acquired broad international experience in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Before joining Sanofi, he served as president of pharmaceutical operations North America, GSK. He was also a member of the board and co-chairman of the portfolio management board. Viehbacher also served as chairman of PhRMA in the U.S. from December 2010 to April 2012.
“Chris Viehbacher is well placed to take over the leadership of EFPIA. At this time, it is important to remind ourselves and others what is needed to sustain research-based pharmaceuticals in Europe,” said Richard Bergström, director general of EFPIA. "Chris was involved in the high-level group G10 Medicines and has shown his ability to engage with policy-makers world-wide. I look forward to working with him.”