Daniel O’Day of Gilead Sciences Becomes New Chair of PhRMA Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 21, 2024) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today announced that Gilead Sciences Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day has assumed the role of chair of the PhRMA Board of Directors. Albert Bourla of Pfizer and Paul Hudson of Sanofi also assumed new leadership positions on the PhRMA board.

"PhRMA and its members have long worked together to create an environment where innovation can benefit millions of patients with life-changing medicines," said Daniel O’Day. “I look forward to helping advance solutions that protect the innovation ecosystem and ensure that medicines are affordable for everyone. With the right policies, and the outstanding talent in the biopharmaceutical research industry, our country can continue to lead the world in scientific innovation.”

Mr. O’Day joined Gilead in 2019 following a 30-year career at Roche and Genentech. O’Day has led efforts to build on Gilead’s legacy in antiviral medicines and transform the company into one that also develops therapies for cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Under his leadership, Gilead has launched more than six new therapies, rapidly expanded in size and increased its focus on improving health equity. 

“The biopharmaceutical industry provides hope to people facing devastating diseases and delivers solutions for the biggest health care challenges,” said PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl. “Daniel and the entire Gilead team have been leaders in our industry for many years, helping to tackle deadly diseases from HIV to cancer. His deep understanding of how our innovative ecosystem works and the threats it faces make him the right leader for our organization at this time.” 

O’Day succeeds Vas Narasimhan, M.D., CEO of Novartis, as PhRMA board chair. Since joining Novartis in 2005, Dr. Narasimhan has held a range of leadership roles, including Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, and Global Head of Development for Novartis Vaccines. 

“Dan’s experience in our industry and his deep understanding of the evolving healthcare ecosystem make him a strong leader who can continue advancing progress in incentivizing scientific innovation and expanding access for patients,” said Dr. Narasimhan. “I’ve appreciated the progress we have made together on our policy priorities during my Chair-ship this past year. Scientific progress continues to lead to extraordinary medicines that benefit humanity. I look forward to continuing to work with our PhRMA member communities to ensure a robust innovation ecosystem and patient access to medicines."

PhRMA also announced that Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, has become board chair-elect and Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, will serve as treasurer. At Pfizer, Dr. Bourla led the company’s response to the pandemic with the development of a safe and effective vaccine and treatment. During his time at Pfizer, Dr. Bourla has run a wide variety of businesses across the company and now leads a global team of over 80,000 employees. Mr. Hudson joined Sanofi in 2019 after serving as CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals from 2016 through 2019. He also previously served as president at AstraZeneca US. Mr. Hudson has worked to transform Sanofi into a modern health care company, and under his leadership, health and environmental sustainability are at the core of the company’s long-term strategy. 

“In the coming year, we will continue to see significant scientific advancements that deliver meaningful solutions to patients,” said Dr. Bourla. “There is every reason to be optimistic about the science, which is why our industry remains focused on promoting policies that encourage innovation and lower health care costs for all patients. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue advancing these important issues in the months ahead.”

“Too often, misaligned incentives in the health care system make medicines unaffordable for patients,” said Paul Hudson. “Our industry has taken important steps to lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs, but we need policymakers to do their part as well. I am hopeful that working together – industry, policymakers and other key stakeholders – we can build a better, more affordable health care system for all patients.”

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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