Top Lobbyist for PhRMA to Step Down

Amidst the Democrats floundering to pass their health care reform bill after the balance of power shifted when a Republican won the Massachusetts Senate race, WJ “Billy” Tauzin, a Democrat turned Republican, announced that he will step down in June as head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Amidst the Democrats floundering to pass their health care reform bill after the balance of power shifted when a Republican won the Massachusetts Senate race, WJ “Billy” Tauzin, a Democrat turned Republican, announced that he will step down in June as head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Unnamed sources have said that Tauzin was not fired but did recognize that the board of PhRMA was becoming increasingly displeased with his tenure.1

According to lobbyists familiar with the situation, the board was uncertain whether Tauzin could persuade the White House to stand behind its $80 billion deal with PhRMA to help pay for reform. In addition, some board members believed that Tauzin was conceding too much to Democrats, including agreeing to spend up to $100 million on pro-reform advertising. However, others say that Tauzin’s departure will have no effect on the organization or the $80 billion deal. 

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1. Eggen D. Billy Tauzin, key player in health-care push, leaving PhRMA. Washington Post. http://www. washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn/content/ article/ 2010/02/12/ AR2010021205129.html. Published February 13, 2010. Accessed February 16, 2010.