He received a B.A. in economics and east asian studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, an M.B.A. from Temple University Fox School of Business and Management in 1996, and a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 1996.
He co-founded Health Care Compliance Association in 1995. He served as the Chairman of the New York chapter of the American Heart Association. He also serves on the transition team for New Jersey Governor-Elect Chris Christie. In 1997, he was named Compliance Officer of the Year at Health Care Compliance Association. He served as the Chief Compliance Officer for Coventry Health Care and for Thomas Jefferson University and Health System. He served as Senior Vice President of Compliance, Legal, and Regulatory at Home Care Corp. of America. He served as the Chief Risk Officer of Coventry Health Care from 1998 to 1999.
He was a Partner and Head of the Compliance Business Advisory Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 2000 to 2003. He joined Schering-Plough from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he led its compliance business advisory services group. He served as a Senior Executive of Schering-Plough from 2003 to 2010 and served as its President of Global Consumer Health Care. He served as the Head of Integration for both Schering-Plough's merger with Merck Co. He served as Senior Vice President of Global Compliance and Business Practices of Schering-Plough Corp. from November 1, 2003 to February 20, 2007. He served as the President of Consumer Health Care and Senior Vice President of Schering-Plough Corp. since February 2007.
He served as the C.E.O of Bausch Lomb Incorporated and Bausch Lomb Holdings Incorporated since March 15, 2010. He served as a Special Adviser of General Atlantic LLC. From 2010 to February 2013, he served as President of Bausch Lomb Holdings Incorporated. He served as an Advisor of Valeant Pharmaceuticals since August 2013. Mr. Saunders served as the C.E.O. and President of Forest Laboratories from October 1, 2013 to 2014.
He has been a Director of Actavis plc since July 1, 2014. He serves as a Director of Actavis Funding SCS. He serves on the Boards of electroCore LLC and the Overlook Hospital Foundation. He has been a Member of Upstate New York Regional Advisory Board at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York since June 9, 2010. He served as a Director of Forest Laboratories Inc. since August 2011. He served as Director of Bausch Lomb Holdings Incorporated and Bausch Lomb Incorporated since March 15, 2010.
On February 18, 2015, the company formerly known as Actavis, Plc announced its intention to change its name to Allergan, Plc. This was completed as of June 15, 2015. Actavis, Plc then became Actavis which now forms the US Generics division of the company.
After the acquisition of Allergan, Inc by Actavis, Plc, the new company made its first acquisition on July 6, when the company acquired start-up, Oculeve, for $125 million. On July 7 the company announced it would acquire Merck Cos late stage CGRP migraine portfolio, as well as two experimental drugs (MK-1602 and MK-8031) for $250 million. In July, Allergan agreed to sell off its small molecule generic drug business, Actavis, to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $40.5 billion ($33.75 billion in cash and $6.75 billion worth of shares), a transaction to be completed in Q1 2016. A day later, the company announced it would acquire Naurex Inc for $560 million with more tied to regulatory milestones. In September the company announced it would acquire ophthalmic device start-up AqueSys for $300 million plus future sums tied to approval/sales milestones. In November the company acquired aesthetic device company Northwood Medical Innovation. Two days after announcing the record breaking deal with Pfizer, the company announced it would partner with Rugen Therapeutics to develop new therapies for autism spectrum disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.