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Jaeger Steps Down From GPhA After Teva Exit

Kathleen Jaeger said Tuesday that she would step down as president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, which has recently faced internal turmoil with the departure of one its key member companies, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Jaeger, who has been with the GPhA for eight years, said she offered to leave after Teva notified the organization on April 22 that it intended to resign from the group because of differences over structure.

Jaeger said the Teva move had become “a distraction.”

“It is just one of those times to say, OK it is time to move to the next level,” Jaeger said.

Jaeger’s resignation will be effective June 30, although she will remain as an adviser to the association through the end of this year.

Paul Bisaro, the chairman of the GPhA Board of Directors and president of Watson Pharmaceuticals, said it was “the right time to make this change.”

“It gives us a chance to re-evaluate the trade association, re-evaluate messaging and strategy,” he said.

He said GPhA’s executive committee will soon meet to map out its selection process to find Jaeger’s successor. He said the group hoped to bring in “someone of her caliber or even higher.” Before joining the GPhA, Jaeger led the food and drug practice at the firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.

The past year has been tough for the GPhA, which failed to block a provision in the health care reform law that gave brand-name drug companies rights to exclusively market biologic drugs for a minimum of 12 years.

Jaeger said her industry “fought really hard” but was “outgunned” by the brand-name drug and biotechnology companies, which lobbied for the provision.

Teva, which is based in Israel, did not specifically point to the health care reform effort as the reason that it was parting with the trade association.

The letter from William Marth, president of Teva North America, to Bisaro said the GPhA as it is currently structured “cannot appropriately reflect the policy priorities or marketplace realities of Teva.”

“Given the value of this industry in our health care system, the potential for a strong voice is not being fully realized through the Association,” Marth wrote.

The letter went on to say that even though Teva and the GPhA advocated for many of the same issues, “we have concluded that we are best suited to accomplish those goals and others outside of the Association.”

Bisaro said the trade group would try to address Teva’s concerns about its structure to bring the company back into the fold. Teva was the largest company in GPhA, which has 100 remaining members. In the first quarter of this year, Teva spent more on lobbying — $820,000 — than the GPhA, which spent $679,260, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed with Congress.

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