Novartis chief executive Joe Jimenez has been officially unveiled as president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, taking over from ousted Sanofi head Chris Viehbacher.

After Mr Viehbacher was sacked by the French drugmaker at the end of October, he resigned as EFPIA boss. Mr Jimenez (pictured), who had been scheduled to take up the post in June next year, will serve until June 2017.

The Novartis boss said he was keen to start working “with my colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry and with our stakeholders as we shape the future of innovative medicines in Europe”. He added that “with the new Commission in office, it is an exciting time as health and life sciences are central to the EU agenda”.

Mr Jimenez went on to outline his vision of “a prosperous Europe in which all stakeholders are aligned towards improving and rewarding positive patient outcomes”. He said “this is the right thing to do for patients, and for the sustainability of our health systems. Importantly, it will also drive sustained R&D investment and jobs in Europe”.

Richard Bergstrom, director-general of EFPIA, welcomed the appointment and spoke of Mr Jimenez’s experience in sector and “his dedication to cross-sector dialogue and collaboration”.