Cohn and Wolfe has created a division dedicated to NHS and policy
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
Searle said: ’Increasingly our clients need to communicate with and
influence policy makers at national and local levels -that’s where we
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.