The British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) has appointed Mark Samuels as its new chief executive.
He replaces Warwick Smith, who retires from the role after leading the organisation for 25 years.
Samuels will also oversee the BGMA’s expert sector group – the British Biosimilars Association.
He brings a diverse experience from across the life sciences sector having worked as an executive at Roche and co-founded the Medicines Discovery Catapult Ltd.
Samuels was the founding managing director of the government’s Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure – instrumental in managing the Department of Health and Social Care’s investment in research centres across the NHS.
He served for seven years on the chief medical officer for England’s strategy board for health research, and he has worked with Number 10 to contribute to the prime minister’s strategy for life sciences.
Samuels said: “I am excited to represent the generics and biosimilars sectors, which account for 80 per cent of medicines needed by patients in the NHS.
“Generics and biosimilars save the NHS £15 billion each year, and the NHS would not be sustainable without them. And these medicines have proven crucial during the pandemic – people in our industry are working strenuously but successfully to provide the medicines for Intensive Care which let patients with Covid-19 to be treated on a ventilator for example. Looking ahead, the UK must learn Covid lessons – ensuring that the supply chain for generic medicines is resilient for a healthy future NHS.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Warwick’s immense contribution and industry leadership of many, many years. He leaves with the utmost gratitude for his efforts and with everyone’s best wishes for the future.”
Warwick Smith, retiring director-general of the BGMA, said: “I am delighted that the BGMA has secured such an experienced and able new CEO for the association in Mark. The generics, and latterly biosimilars, industry has developed immeasurably during my time working within it. But the core ethos of making sure the right medicine, reaches the right patient at the right time has remained out foremost objective.
“This aim has never been more tested than in the past year, but it has been a testament to all participants in the supply chain that medicines have reached patients despite the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”
Peter Ballard, BGMA chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the association. He brings significant experience from his time both within industry and working closely with Government. He is passionate about serving patients and the NHS which are our principal priorities as an organisation.
“I would also like to place on the record my enormous thanks and gratitude to Warwick. His tenure leading the association has been extraordinary and we will greatly miss his experience, skill-set and wisdom. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”