Jim Cope and Bob Donovan Receive Industry Lifetime Achievement Award

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2017) –Today, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) awarded the Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time industry executives, Jim Cope and Bob Donovan. This annual award is the highest honor given by the consumer healthcare industry, bestowed upon outstanding individuals whose actions have positively and significantly impacted the over-the-counter (OTC) medicine and dietary supplement industry, and who have directly improved self-care for U.S. consumers.

The award is named in honor of Ivan D. Combe, an exemplary leader and visionary at CHPA who served on the association’s board of directors from 1958 until 2000. The award is presented annually to deserving individuals based on the following criteria: experience, leadership qualities, outstanding service to the consumer healthcare industry and community, and professional excellence. This year, CHPA presented two individuals with the prestigious award – Jim Cope and Bob Donovan – in honor of their legendary contributions to CHPA and the industry.   

Bob Donovan spent his career in the OTC arena, shaping the strategy and growth of several companies including Novartis, Sandoz Consumer Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer's Global OTC business, and Sterling Drug. While many professionals have managed brands, few have also been instrumental in successfully developing and launching a broad range of OTC brands that have become household names, including Theraflu, Tavist, Gas-X, Visine, and Unisom. He was also heavily involved in the introduction of both Hai Karate Aftershave and Sophia perfume. During his many years of service to CHPA, Donovan chaired six different committees – including the Board of Directors – and even served as interim president of CHPA in 2002. He also previously served as president of the Council on Family Health. Donovan is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim Cope began as a lobbyist and convention manager with CHPA in 1961 and was named president and CEO of CHPA in 1967. During his tenure, Jim worked with 25 association chairmen during one of the most formative periods for OTC drug regulation and the OTC medicine industry. In 1999 Jim retired from CHPA, but his considerable legacy continues to resonate throughout the industry to this day.   

 “Jim’s background reads like a history book,” says Scott Melville, CHPA’s current president and CEO. Under Cope’s first year of leadership, CHPA played a small but important part in resolving an international crisis – the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba – when hundreds of people were taken prisoner and held hostage by Fidel Castro. Working with CHPA member companies, Cope helped CHPA secure more than $7 million worth of product donations for the hostages who were eventually safely released. “Considering amazing stories like this, plus his lifetime of other accomplishments for our industry, this over-due honor could wait no longer,” added Melville.  

Donovan received the award during the opening session of the CHPA annual conference to a long and rousing ovation, with his wife and children in attendance. Unfortunately, Cope could not attend the ceremony due to health complications, but his accomplishments were lauded on the stage to sustained cheers and applause from the 400 current industry executives who recognize his role in the industry they work in today. Cope’s award was accepted by Bob Donovan on Cope’s behalf.  



The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 136-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. chpa.org


Mike Tringale