Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President and CEO John Castellani announced Thursday that he will step down at the beginning of next year.
Castellani has led PhRMA, the leading lobbying organization for biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology drug companies, since 2010.
“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve in this position for the past five years,” Castellani said in a statement. “Representing the biopharmaceutical industry has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and I am very proud of the incredible work our members do every day to improve the lives of patients.”
In a recent interview with Modern Healthcare, Castellani said the organization and its members are increasingly concerned about health plans with cost-sharing requirements that make it too difficult for some patients to get drugs that will avert more expensive healthcare services.
"We are working with patients constantly to ensure that the insurance structure is such that it allows them to have access to the medicines that they need, and that government programs like Medicaid are working the way they are designed to work," Castellani said.
Under his leadership, the organization has aggressively fought the expansion of the federal 340B drug discount program.
Castellani began his career as an environmental scientist for General Electric, where he worked from 1972 until 1977. He later served as president and CEO of the Business Roundtable and executive vice president of Tenneco. He is a trustee of Sibley Memorial Hospital and a director of the National Health Council.
News of Castellani's retirement came alongside the announcement of Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier as the organization's newly-elected board chairman.
“On behalf of the PhRMA Board of Directors, I want to thank John for his steadfast leadership at PhRMA over the past five years,” Frazier said. “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."
The search for Castellani's successor will begin immediately and will be led by PhRMA's Nominations and Compensation Committes, according to the organization.