Roche Pulls Out of Big Pharma

July 9, 2009
Angie Drakulich

Angie Drakulich was editorial director of Pharmaceutical Technology.

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Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Roche has officially withdrawn from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) after being a member for 36 years.

Roche appears to want out of the Big Pharma crowd.  The company confirmed in a statement that it has officially withdrawn from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) after being a member for 36 years. The withdrawal became effective June 30, 2009.

The decision to leave PhRMA was largely influenced by Roche's move into the biotech sector following its acquisition of Genentech in March 2009. Genentech is a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). According to Roche’s public affairs office, "Genentech and Roche believe that BIO's purpose is closely aligned with the direction of the new company and, therefore, can represent the company's interests in Washington, among policymakers, legislators, and the general public."

At the same time, the company stated that it is “proud to have been a partner with PhRMA for 36 years in addressing critical issues affecting healthcare innovation, manufacturing, and investment and access to prescription medicines for US patients.”

Roche also clarified that it is not severing its involvement with Rutgers University, despite some news reports that the company is pursuing such action. “Roche will continue to sponsor the Rutgers Pharmaceutical MBA program,” according to the company statement.

In related news, Roche is not renewing its membership with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI). The British association suspended Roche’s membership in July 2008 for 6 months after Roche reportedly breached the association's code of practice. The suspension was lifted in February 2009, but a report in the UK’s Financial Times states that the British arm of Roche has decided for the time being not to rejoin ABPI. Roche has said, however, that it will continue to work within the association's code of practice, according to the Times article.

This article was written by Stephanie Sutton, assistant editor at PharmTech Europe, with additional reporting by Angie Drakulich.