(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc announced today that Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., has been appointed as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc. Dr. Lewis-Hall will be the senior physician in the company, responsible for enterprise-wide medical, patient safety, regulatory affairs and quality assurance as well as outreach to doctors and other medical professionals. She joins Pfizer from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for clinical and non-clinical development as well as both medical and regulatory.

“We welcome Dr. Lewis-Hall to Pfizer and know that she will make a distinctive contribution as we build the world’s premier biopharmaceutical company. Her achievements as a biomedical researcher, patient advocate, academician and organizational leader fit perfectly with our goal of applying innovative science to improve world health,” said Jeffrey B. Kindler, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Dr. Lewis-Hall will report to Mr. Kindler and serve on Pfizer’s Executive Leadership Team, its most senior leadership group. She will shape Pfizer’s regulatory and medical policy during a time of fast-changing expectations for healthcare companies and a wave of new therapies in development, especially as information technologies change the ways companies develop medicines, clinicians prescribe them, and patients and payers value them.

“Dr. Lewis-Hall brings a unique perspective to Pfizer, having worked in large and small biopharmaceutical companies, in government, in academia, and in direct patient care and patient advocacy,” said Phyllis Greenberger, M.S.W., president and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research who has worked with Dr. Lewis-Hall in numerous capacities for the past 20 years. “She has special sensitivities, having a doctor’s compassion, a leader’s vision and a researcher’s love of science and medicine.”

“No other pharmaceutical company has Pfizer’s potential,” said Dr. Lewis-Hall, “potential that will increase greatly with the pending acquisition of Wyeth. I look forward to building on the company’s longstanding commitment to better medicine through strong science, and on its vision of closer partnership with patients, doctors, and the entire healthcare community.”

Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Lewis-Hall was Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Vice President of Research and Development at Pharmacia, and Product Team Leader at Eli Lilly and Company, where she was involved in the development and launch of dozens of new drugs over the last decade. Previously, Dr. Lewis-Hall held leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Howard University College of Medicine and maintained a private practice in both the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dr. Lewis-Hall is a Fellow of the American Academy of Psychiatry. Her publications include the book “Psychiatric Illness in Women: Emerging Trends and Research” and a number of journal articles on diagnosing and treating mental health. She’s a well-known speaker and television commentator on the effects of illness on patients, families and communities as well as healthcare disparities, mental illness and women’s health issues.

Dr. Lewis-Hall received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and her Medical Doctorate from Howard University Hospital and College of Medicine.

She succeeds Dr. Joseph Feczko, who previously announced his retirement from Pfizer.

About Pfizer

Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the world's largest research-based biopharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with health care providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, more than 80,000 colleagues in more than 90 countries work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.

Editor’s Note: For photos, CV and more information on Dr. Lewis-Hall, please go to http://pfizer.mediaseed.tv/.

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Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall (Photo: Business Wire)