Ramona Sequeira to become PhRMA's first female chair; McKinsey reaches nearly $574 million settlement over involvement in opioid crisis
PhRMA is getting its first female board chair.
On Thursday, the trade association celebrated news that Ramona Sequeira, president of Takeda’s US business, has been named chair-elect. The former board treasurer is set to step up next year, leaving her role to Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan.
“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,” Sequeira said in a statement. “Yet, there continues to be opportunity to improve public perception of our industry.”
Sequeira said building trust across the industry is a key priority, “especially among communities who continue to feel the disparities and inequities of our health care system.”
The McMaster University grad has been with Takeda since 2015, where she leads the US business unit and global portfolio commercialization. Before that, she spent several years at Eli Lilly in commercial leadership and general management roles spanning Canada, Europe and the US.
Sequeira will replace Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks, who assumed his role as board chair back in December.
McKinsey reaches nearly $574 million settlement over involvement in opioid crisis
McKinsey & Company has agreed to pay nearly $574 million to settle claims that it helped drugmakers — including OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma — aggressively market opioid painkillers, spurring a deadly epidemic.
The settlement was reached with attorneys general from 47 states, five territories and DC. McKinsey still denies the allegations, and the settlement contains no admission of guilt.
According to court documents, McKinsey sold marketing ideas to Purdue for more than 15 years, including before and after Purdue’s 2007 guilty plea for felony misbranding. McKinsey allegedly helped Purdue devise plans to “turbocharge” sales under a strategy they called “Evolve 2 Excellence,” which significantly increased OxyContin sales, a document filed in Massachusetts court states..
“Early in their relationship, McKinsey advised Purdue that it could increase OxyContin sales through physician targeting and specific messaging to prescribers,” the document alleges. “These McKinsey strategies formed the pillars of Purdue’s sales tactics for the next fifteen years.”
The settlement money will be used by the states to address the impact of the opioid epidemic. And McKinsey has reaffirmed that it will no longer advise clients on any opioid-related business anywhere in the world.
“”We chose to resolve this matter in order to provide fast, meaningful support to communities across the United States. We deeply regret that we did not adequately acknowledge the tragic consequences of the epidemic unfolding in our communities. With this agreement, we hope to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the U.S.,” McKinsey’s global managing partner Kevin Sneader said in a statement.
Strides demerges biotech business under Stelis
Strides Pharma Science — a pharmaceutical company based in Bangalore, India — is demerging its biotech business under Stelis Biopharma, it announced on Thursday.
The board of directors is forming a committee to “explore various options of value discovery,” including listing the business on a standalone basis, according to a statement.
For reasoning, Strides said that Stelis has completed its incubation phase and is entering a growth phase, for which it will need $100 million to fund programs over the next three years.
“As Strides focuses on building its Core Pharma business, it will not participate in the new funding round,” a statement read.