Roche hires head of public affairs for NICE work

Healthcare company Roche UK has appointed its first head of public affairs, and increased its in-house public relations function with several new appointments.

Healthcare company Roche UK has appointed its first head of public

affairs, and increased its in-house public relations function with

several new appointments.



Helen Johnson will take the public affairs role, reporting to Sarah

Ridout, director of corporate affairs. Previously, Johnson was a legal

adviser at the company, and worked as project manager for Roche’s

sponsorship of the Body Zone at the Millennium Dome.



The creation last year of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence

has brought public affairs to the forefront of pharmaceutical PR.



Roche UK uses Westminster Strategy for public affairs, although it has

not extensively lobbied in the past. Ridout said there would be a more

proactive approach in the future.



Since Ridout joined the company last year (PR Week, 3 September) she has

increased her team by three, to a total of seven people.



However, former PR manager Fiona Tigar, who joined AstraZeneca as head

of PR and communications (PR Week, 18 February) has not been formally

replaced. Her responsibilities have been taken on, in part, by Susie

Hackett, who has taken the position of Pharma PR executive, joining from

Churchill Communications.



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