Bill Novelli is CEO of AARP, a membership organization of 40 million people age 50 and older, half of whom remain actively employed. AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age. Prior to joining AARP, Mr. Novelli was President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, whose mandate is to change public policies and the social environment, limit tobacco companies’ marketing and sales practices to children and serve as a counterforce to the tobacco industry and its special interests. He now serves as chairman of the board. He was also Executive Vice President of CARE, the world’s largest private relief and development organization.
Mr. Novelli is a recognized leader in social marketing and social change, and has managed programs in cancer control, diet and nutrition, cardiovascular health, reproductive health, infant survival, pay increases for educators, charitable giving and other programs in the U.S. and the developing world. His book, 50+: Give Meaning and Purpose to the Best Time of Your Life, was updated in 2008. Mr. Novelli serves on a number of boards and advisory committees. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, and pursued doctoral studies at New York University.
Bill Novelli: The pharmaceutical industry has an important role to play in American health. First of all, this is a lifesaving industry. This is the industry that we hope is going to be able to control Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and these other diseases of . . . of the elderly. So we are dependent upon the pharmaceutical industry. But at the same time, prescription drugs cost too much in this country, and we have to really move to generics. We have to get costs so that they’re affordable for people. We have to figure out a way so that the pharmaceutical companies can make a reasonable profit, and people can afford their drugs. And right now we’re not there.
Recorded on: 9/27/07