Cohn and Wolfe creates NHS and policy division

Cohn and Wolfe has created a division dedicated to NHS and policy relations.

Cohn and Wolfe has created a division dedicated to NHS and policy

relations.



The move is part of a drive to create a ’one-stop shop’ for healthcare

clients in the UK.



Angie Searle, director of healthcare at C&W said: ’A fast and furious

programme of NHS reform has made the UK one of the world’s most

challenging markets for the pharmaceutical industry.’ These reforms

include last week’s national plan for the NHS, and the introduction of

the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), formed in April

1999.



Searle said: ’Increasingly our clients need to communicate with and

influence policy makers at national and local levels -that’s where we

help.’



Jacinta Collins will head the team, which currently has a full-time

staff of two and a part-time consultant. She has recently recruited

Colleen Shannon as NHS and policy manager. Shannon is a medical

journalist of ten-year’s experience, including stints on Doctor and

Hospital Doctor magazines.



Collins said the team would work with clients to identify trends, so

they can input to NHS policy as it is being developed. They would also

counsel clients on NICE submissions.



In the past, NICE has denied that PR consultancies have a role to play

in the decisions it makes about which drugs to approve. However, Collins

said: ’Having worked with a number of companies which are going through

the process, we are in a good position to advise on submissions.’ Cohn

and Wolfe has been appointed by Novartis to work on the launch of asthma

treatment Xolair. Fees are in excess of six figures, and Emma Crozier,

account director, will handle the account.



Leader, p8.



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