John Coster has joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) as senior vice president of government affairs.

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GPhA hires former NCPA exec to lead government affairs

February 3rd, 2011

WASHINGTON – John Coster has joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) as senior vice president of government affairs.

GPhA said Thursday that Coster, who comes to the generic drug industry trade group from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), brings more than 25 years of experience working on pharmacy policy and health care policy issues. He is slated to take over his new post at GPhA on Feb. 14.

A registered pharmacist, Coster has extensive experience working on Capitol Hill with the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as with the executive branch, according to GPhA. He is a former staffer for the Senate Special Committee on Aging. He has held a number of academic positions, including assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy PRIME Institute, and before that he headed Rite Aid Corp.'s government affairs office and held government affairs posts at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

"John's exceptional Hill experience and legislative expertise comes to us at a time when the cost savings potential of generic pharmaceuticals has never been more important, both on the federal and state levels. We are delighted to have this seasoned and respected professional on our team," Bob Billings, GPhA interim executive director, said in a statement.

GPhA noted that Coster's hiring is an integral part of its 2011 strategic plan to expand its presence in Washington, D.C., and sharpen its focus on advocating for legislation and policies that accelerate health care savings via the use of generic drugs and biogeneric medicines.

"We recognize the need, both as an industry association and as providers of affordable prescription drugs, to be totally engaged in our partnership with Congress and the [presidential] administration to expand health care in fiscally responsible ways," Billings commented. "We remain eager to work with Congress in crafting effective public health policies that assure access to cost-saving generic medicines while simultaneously reducing America's prescription drug bill, and John will lead those efforts."