Healthcare: ABPI hunts for chief as Ley steps down

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)'s respected head of media relations Richard Ley is leaving after 13 years at the trade body.

Ley will step down in June and the hunt is on for his successor. The role reports to ABPI corporate affairs director David Lewis, who moved from Britvic last summer.

Ley's decision to retire comes as Lewis moves to bolster the ABPI's comms firepower with two new appointments. The association has hired the head of public affairs and external relations at the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) to the new role of government affairs manager.

Rachel Cashman will leave NASUWT to join the ABPI next month. She will focus on UK government relations, so head of government affairs Allison Bartlett can spend more time on European issues.

Meanwhile, Touch PR senior consultant Rosalind Britton Elliott joins as media relations manager. She replaces Matt Worrall, who has joined the Royal College of Surgeons as media comms manager (PRWeek, 12 September 2007).

This year promises to be another busy one for the ABPI as it broadens talks with the Government regarding the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

Lewis said: 'This industry is well respected but we operate in a fast-moving environment where we need to be top of our game constantly.'

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