Is Teva's CEO the most influential drug exec?

Who doesn't like to be called a VIP? Anybody? Well, some 40 folks in and around pharma should find themselves smiling, now that World Pharmaceutical Frontiers has released its annual ranking of the most influential people in the industry. And as usual with such lists, there are a few surprises lurking among the numbers. Otherwise, how newsworthy would it be?

Biggest surprise? The pharma CEO highest on the list isn't a Big Pharma type. It's Shlomo Yanai, president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Big Generic, maybe. Next comes Daniel Vasella, Novartis chief, at No. 9--and he wasn't even on the top 40 last year. Nipping at his heels--at spots 10 and 11--are Genentech CEO (for now, at least) Arthur Levinson and GlaxoSmithKline chief Andrew Witty.

Who's at the top of the list then? In a word, government. President Barack Obama comes in first, no doubt because of his health-reform plans, which promise to quake the pharma landscape. The U.K.'s NICE chief Sir Michael Rawlins is second-most influential, and we're sure plenty of drugmakers with spurned products would attest to his power. Then comes EMEA exec director Thomas Lonngren and Janet Woodcock, the FDA's CDER chief, as numbers three and four. China's FDA commissioner and India's drugs controller general come in seventh and eighth.

One more surprise and we'll let you peruse the list yourself: Pfizer's R&D chief, Martin Mackay, beat out his own boss. At No. 18, Mackay was ranked 21 places ahead of Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler. We hope Jeff has a sense of humor.

- read the ranking in Pharma Fronteirs (.pdf)