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GPhA Taps Ralph G. Neas as New President and Chief Executive Officer

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), which represents the world's leading generic drug manufacturers and suppliers, today announced that it has named Ralph G. Neas as the Association's new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2011.  

Neas joins GPhA from the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), the nation's oldest and most diverse health care coalition, where he has served as President and CEO and led the group's efforts to assure quality care, improve the health status of Americans and control costs in the U.S. health care system. GPhA intends to introduce Neas to stakeholders throughout September with an aggressive outreach effort to maximize the industry's message and renew its participation as an active and engaged member of the health care debate.   

"As those in Washington and across the country continue to look for savings in our health care system, it is clear that the greater use of generic medications is a safe and effective way to reduce costs while providing patients with the same quality care they have come to rely on," Paul Bisaro, President and CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of the GPhA Board of Directors said. 

"Ralph is a proven national leader and consensus builder who has made a career out of working with Republicans and Democrats to forge coalitions that produce pragmatic compromises to advance the best interests of the country. He will provide GPhA with an unprecedented opportunity to expand our message so that any discussion about reducing health care costs — whether on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures, the media or anywhere else — is a discussion that recognizes the billions of dollars in savings generic medications can contribute in this challenging economic climate."

Over the past three years, Neas has worked closely with the generic pharmaceutical industry. As President and CEO of NCHC, he has sought to convey the importance of promoting generics as a critical cost saving and pro-consumer strategy to ensure system-wide health care reform. In addition, he has enlisted the support of diverse stakeholders such as consumer groups, large and small businesses, insurance companies, disability and minority organizations, labor, medical societies and pension funds to forge an Ad Hoc Alliance on Cost Containment.

"I am honored to have been selected by GPhA to lead the association at such a critical time for the generic industry and for the nation," Neas said. "Generic medications have long established themselves as a vital component in lowering our country's health care costs by providing patients with quality care at a lower cost. Indeed, from 1999-2009, generic medications saved the health care system $824 billion. I welcome the immediate opportunity to further demonstrate the integral role generics have to play in reducing spending. Slowing the annual growth of health care costs is essential to the sustainability of the health care system and to the national economy." 

"I am also pleased that GPhA and I will be working closely with the National Coalition on Health Care's Cost Containment Alliance," Neas said.

Prior to leading NCHC, Neas served as President and CEO for People For the American Way (PFAW) where he was a national leader on civil rights, civil liberties and public education issues. People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) also launched new leadership development and civic engagement programs.

From 1981-1995, he was the Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), where he directed two dozen successful national campaigns that strengthened, with huge bipartisan majorities, every major civil rights law.

Neas began his public service career as Chief Counsel to Republican Senators Edward W. Brooke and David Durenberger.

For the past quarter of a century he has also been a consistent presence in the national media, interviewed regularly by the major TV, radio and print media, and is the author of over forty published articles, op-eds and commentaries in national media outlets. 

Neas, a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He has taught courses on the legislative process, the Constitution, and public policy at the University of Chicago Law School, Georgetown University Law Center and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals fill 78 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but consume just 25 percent of the total drug spending. Additional information is available at

CONTACT: David Belian

SOURCE Generic Pharmaceutical Association
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