Chief executive, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2010 ranking: 17)

The adage “what does not kill you only makes you stronger” seems particularly apt in Sir Andrew’s case.

The man leading the organisation with unrivalled influence over how the NHS spends its £9bn annual drug budget is always going to rank highly, but the unequivocal backing by an initially hostile government over the past year has left Sir Andrew in a much stronger position.

NICE has been tasked with setting 150 quality standards on antenatal care, end of life care and almost every ailment that can be suffered in between.

Placed on a statutory footing by the Health Bill, NICE will be used by the NHS Commissioning Board to inform the outcomes framework and so see its influence increase in every corner of the service.

The organisation’s remit is also expanding and from 2013 will take in social care as well

A hospital manager who joined the NHS from university, Sir Andrew has been with NICE since its inception and has won respect across the often conflicting worlds of the NHS and pharma. Measured and unflappable, he has kept politicians, interest groups and industry at bay while building an international reputation for the regulator.