Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2021) — Today, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) elected two new officers to its board of directors. Ramona Sequeira, president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. was named chair-elect. Sequeira formerly held the position of board treasurer, and when she assumes the role of board chair next year, she’ll be the first woman in PhRMA’s history to do so. Additionally, PhRMA’s board elected Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis, to serve as board treasurer.
“PhRMA and the biopharmaceutical research companies we represent are focused on the critical issues that matter to the American people. We can help deliver the solutions that are needed to get COVID-19 under control, bring the economy back and make health care more affordable,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of PhRMA. “I am confident that under the leadership of Ramona and Vas, as well as under Dave Ricks’ continued leadership as board chair, our organization is positioned to help address the tough challenges our country faces.”
Sequeira has served as President of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. since 2015, leading Takeda’s US Business and Global Portfolio Commercialization while serving as a member of Takeda’s Executive Team. Prior to joining Takeda, she worked at Eli Lilly and Company, where she served in various commercial leadership and general management roles across Canada, Europe and the United States. Sequeira studied molecular genetics and molecular biology at the University of Toronto and holds an M.B.A. from McMaster University in Canada.
“Over the past year, the public has witnessed first-hand, the benefits of innovative science as our industry quickly and safely worked together to address one of the greatest health care challenges of our time,” said Sequeira. “Yet, there continues to be opportunity to improve public perception of our industry. I look forward to working with my colleagues and stakeholders across the health care system to continue advocating for policies that put patients first and foster public trust in science and our industry – especially among communities who continue to feel the disparities and inequities of our health care system.”
Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005. Prior to serving as CEO, he held a number of leadership roles, including Global Head of Development for Novartis Vaccines and Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. His work at the company includes leading efforts to develop and distribute a vaccine during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Narasimhan is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine in the United States.
“After what has been the largest and fastest mobilization of global scientific capabilities against a public health crisis, the pandemic is a reminder of the importance of the biopharmaceutical industry and the need to address longstanding health disparities. Taking a collaborative approach, we are eager to work with leaders across government to find solutions that lower what patients pay out-of-pocket and fuel transformative biomedical innovation,” said Narasimhan.
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. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested nearly $1 trillion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $83 billion in 2019 alone