Christopher Viehbacher

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Chris Viehbacher is the CEO of Sanofi-aventis and the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

PhRMA is a member of the Corporate ("Private Enterprise") Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as of July 2011. [1]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.


Viehbacher made €3.5 million in 2010. PhRMA is one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in Washington. Representing 48 pharmaceutical companies, PhRMA has 20 registered lobbyists on staff and has contracted with dozens of lobby and PR firms.

"Chris Viehbacher has served as a member of PureTech’s board of directors since 2015 and as chairman since September 2019. He is the managing partner of Gurnet Point Capital, a Boston based investment fund associated with the Bertarelli family and has a $2 billion capital allocation. He is the former CEO and member of the board of directors of Sanofi and was also the chairman of the board of Genzyme in Boston. Prior to joining Sanofi, Mr Viehbacher spent over 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline in Germany, Canada, France and, latterly, the US as president of its North American pharmaceutical division. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and qualified as a chartered accountant. Mr Viehbacher currently serves on the boards of Vedanta Biosciences, Inc. as chairman, Alladapt, BEFORE Brands, Corium, Crossover Health, Boston Pharmaceuticals, Zikani, York River Holdings and Gurnet Point Capital LLC. He is also a trustee of Northeastern University and a member of the board of fellows at Stanford Medical School.

"Mr Viehbacher has been a strong advocate for the healthcare industry. Past advocacy roles include: former co-chair with Bill Gates of the CEO Roundtable on Neglected Diseases; chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer; chairman of the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington; and president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations in Brussels. Mr Viehbacher has served on various advisory groups at MIT, Duke University and Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario. At the World Economic Forum at Davos, Mr Viehbacher was a chair of the Health Governors and co-chaired an initiative to create a Global Charter for Healthy Living. He was also a member of the International Business Council. He has received the Pasteur Foundation Award for outstanding commitment to safeguarding and improving health worldwide and received France’s highest civilian honour, the Legion d’Honneur. Mr Viehbacher received his bachelor’s degree in commerce from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Private Enterprise Board, ALEC website, accessed July 7, 2011.
  2. PureTech Board, organizational web page, accessed May 23, 2020.
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