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