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Tauzin Named President of PhRMA

Quinn Heading to Cassidy

Retiring Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) has been hired as president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry’s leading trade organization announced today.

The news confirms rumors of a marriage between the pharmaceutical industry and the hard-charging former Energy and Commerce chairman that touched off controversy last spring, when Tauzin was accused of negotiating such a job as he worked on Medicare legislation.

In a statement, PhRMA Chairman Miles White called Tauzin a “leader that embodies action.”

“He has seen the health care world through the eyes of a legislator and the eyes of a patient,” White said of Tauzin, who continues to recover from a battle with intestinal cancer. “He brings a unique perspective to turning patients’ priorities into a reality and ensuring the industry is a partner in health with the patients and clinicians we serve.”

Even as he underwent surgery for the cancer in March, Tauzin fought back against criticism he was inappropriately seeking a multimillion-dollar job as head of PhRMA’s Washington office by releasing a set of letters asserting he had no discussions with the group while he helped steer the prescription drug bill through Congress.

But at the time, a Tauzin aide acknowledged the lawmaker had been first approached by the drug association in mid-January, as he considered an offer to take the top lobbying job at the Motion Picture Association of America.

When PhRMA officials made their interest in Tauzin known, he rejected the MPAA offer and began discussions with them, the aide said.

Tauzin will take the reins at the drug association as it confronts possible Congressional passage of a law allowing importation of U.S. drugs from abroad and slumping public attitude toward pharmaceutical companies.

Meanwhile, Cassidy & Associates is welcoming retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.) as president of the firm while saying goodbye to Vice President Jared Craighead, who is returning to his home state of Missouri to serve as senior policy adviser to Gov.-elect Matt Blunt (R).

Quinn joins the lobbying powerhouse after six terms in the House and will focus on recruiting new clients.

Craighead worked as special assistant to Blunt’s father, then-House Deputy Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), before moving on to SBC Telecommunications and then joining Cassidy, where he led the communications and media practice.

And in the second addition in as many weeks intended to beef up its defense lobbying practice, the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge today announced it has hired Powell Moore, assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs.

Moore, who will serve as managing director of the firm’s Washington office, is a veteran of the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and was chief of staff to then-Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.).

The firm last week announced it hired retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) to help grow the firm’s stable of defense-industry clients, which already includes Aventis Pasteur, GMH Military Housing and Lockheed Martin.

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