Robert Zirkelbach Returns to Leadership Role at PhRMA

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2023) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today named Robert Zirkelbach as executive vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives. Zirkelbach previously led the public affairs department from 2017 to 2020 and will return to PhRMA in early April.

“Robby is well-versed in health care policy and advocacy. He’s an exceptional communications professional who expanded PhRMA’s capabilities during his first tenure at the organization. We will benefit from his depth of experience and his tireless advocacy on behalf of patients and innovation," said PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J. Ubl. "I am so excited to have him back on board as we navigate the current political landscape and fight for policies that benefit patients and protect biopharmaceutical innovation."

The PhRMA veteran will oversee the organization’s media, advertising and executive communications efforts, along with message development and internal communications. He will also head up a new strategic initiatives function that will focus on developing proactive advocacy strategies around emerging issues facing the industry.

"I’m excited to be back at PhRMA. This is a pivotal moment for the industry and patients. The future of medicine has never been more promising, but that progress risks being undermined by harmful drug pricing policies that don’t address the root cause of the problem," said Zirkelbach.

Robby returns to PhRMA after spending the past several years as the Global Head of Issues and Advocacy at ExxonMobil, where he led advocacy efforts on issues critical to the company, including climate change and plastic waste. Earlier in his career, he helped America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) navigate the Affordable Care Act and served as press secretary for Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA).

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Over the last decade, PhRMA member companies have more than doubled their annual investment in the search for new treatments and cures, including nearly $101 billion in 2022 alone. 

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