Business Roundtable president and chief executive officer John Castellani will be the new leader of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, one of the most high-profile lobbying jobs in Washington.
The group announced Castellani's choice this morning. He replaces Billy Tauzin, a former member of Congress from Louisiana who announced his retirement in February. Tauzin was a force behind a deal with the White House that led PhRMA to back the health care overhaul that passed Congress earlier this year. PhRMA's statement said Tauzin has transitioned to being a senior adviser to the association.
Castellani, who has led the Business Roundtable for nearly a decade, was chosen after a search. “At this critical moment, it’s important that we have the highest standard of leadership in this position," Pfizer Chairman and CEO and PhRMA Board Chairman Jeff Kindler said in a statement. "And we have that in John. John is the gold standard, and I’m extremely pleased that he will lead our team.”
David Brennan, president and CEO of AstraZeneca and head of PhRMA's search committee, said Castellani's "strong reputation of working across the political divide set him apart."
Castellani was not immediately available for comment. The Business Roundtable did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both groups have heavy influence in Congress, though PhRMA has the biggest lobbying operation and spent more than $7 million lobbying in the first quarter of this year, according to disclosure reports. The Business Roundtable spent $2.34 million.
In the statement released by PhRMA, Castellani said that "I look forward to working with the dedicated people of the industry, public officials and other key stakeholders in the health care community to ensure that the benefits of the legislation help the most Americans possible.”