GPhA chief executive Neas to step down

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WASHINGTON — Ralph Neas plans to step down as president and chief executive officer of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) this fall.

Ralph Neas

GPhA said late Tuesday Neas is departing the association "to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and to work on critical issues such as nonpartisan election reform." He has served as the organization’s CEO since September 2011.

A search for a new CEO will begin immediately, according to GPhA. Plans call for Neas to serve as CEO during his remaining tenure until a successor is named and to assist in the leadership transition.

In addition, GPhA said Neas will be available through spring of 2016 to support and advise new leadership and help in the CEO transition.

"It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with my GPhA colleagues to help ensure access to safe and affordable medicines, which save patients and the health care system hundreds of billions of dollars annually," Neas said in a statement. "Over the past 12 months, I have been talking to a number of board members and staff about the next chapter in my life. This joint decision today will allow the GPhA board of directors and I to execute a smooth leadership transition and also allow me the time to explore leadership opportunities that have been presented to me regarding nonpartisan electoral reform and various entrepreneurial ventures in affordable health care, as well as the chance to resume part-time writing and teaching."

Neas cited some of GPhA’s key achievements during his tenure as president and CEO. "I am especially proud of the exceptional GPhA team that has been built and how together we have achieved numerous legislative victories; protected the historic Hatch-Waxman Act; promoted future access to biosimilars medicines at the state, national and international levels; and enhanced our relationships with the FDA, Republican and Democratic members of Congress, and the Executive Branch," he stated.

GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of generic drugs and other suppliers in the generic pharmaceutical industry. Currently, generics account for 86% of prescription drugs dispensed in the United States.

"Ralph Neas has brought his leadership to GPhA during a challenging period for the industry," commented GPhA chairman Craig Wheeler, who is president and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. "Under his watch, we have achieved significant programmatic successes that have increased the visibility and impact of GPhA and helped to support the generic industry and its mission to bring affordable medicines to the patients who need them. As Ralph prepares for his next chapter, he leaves GPhA with improved financial health, a capable and committed staff, and renewed commitment from its members. We are a stronger trade organization because of Ralph."


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