WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 9, 2022) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today announced that Ramona Sequeira, President of Takeda’s U.S. Business Unit and Global Portfolio Commercialization, has assumed the role of chair of the PhRMA Board of Directors. Sequeira is the first woman to hold this top leadership position representing the biopharmaceutical industry. Vas Narasimhan, M.D., of Novartis and Daniel O'Day of Gilead Sciences, Inc., also assumed leadership positions on the PhRMA board.
"For more than two years, our companies and researchers have taken unparalleled strides to collaborate on developing, manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics and to pursue policies that help all patients access the care they need," said Sequeira. “As PhRMA board chair, I look forward to working together to continue to transform lives through breakthrough cures and innovative treatments while partnering with stakeholders to support a more value-driven, sustainable and equitable health care system."
Sequeira has been president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. since 2015, leading Takeda's U.S. Business and Global Portfolio Commercialization and serving as a member of Takeda's global executive team. In April 2022, Sequeira will become president of Takeda’s newly formed Global Portfolio Division. Prior to joining Takeda, she served in various commercial leadership and general management roles at Eli Lilly and Company, across Canada, Europe and the United States.
"This announcement is an important milestone for PhRMA and our industry," said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of PhRMA. "We need strong leaders to help us end the pandemic, lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs for medicines and protect future innovation. Ramona’s 25 years of experience in the industry and her commitment to patients are why she will be an exceptional board chair at this critical time.”
Sequeira succeeds Lilly’s Chairman and CEO David A. Ricks as PhRMA board chair.
“I look forward to working with Ramona to meet the challenges our industry faces so we can continue delivering innovation for patients around the world," Ricks said. "Ramona’s depth of experience positions her well to excel as the new board chair.”
PhRMA also announced today that Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan is taking over as board chair-elect, and Daniel O'Day, chairman and CEO of Gilead Sciences, Inc., will serve as treasurer of the PhRMA board. Since assuming the role of CEO in 2018, Narasimhan has led a transformation to build a focused medicines company powered by technology leadership in R&D, access to medicines, and data science. At Gilead, O’Day leads a dedicated team that brings transformative medicines for life-threatening diseases to market. He holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
“The pandemic has reminded the world of the central role industry plays in translating science into widespread human progress,” said Narasimhan. “I’m energized to continue working to progress sustainable policy solutions that help improve the U.S. health care system, increase access and affordability, and preserve and advance the kind of innovation that holds promise to improve and extend lives.”
“I am looking forward to working alongside other leaders on the PhRMA board during this critical time for our industry,” said O’Day. “As we look to address some significant policy challenges, I know we all feel a deep sense of responsibility to find solutions that best serve patients and protect innovation.”
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.