Public Affairs: Pharma giants plan for new government

Top drugs companies are reshuffling their public affairs teams as they prepare for a likely change in government.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer are both looking to hire senior lobbyists, while rival companies Sanofi-aventis and Janssen-Cilag are also bolstering their teams.

Pfizer is on the hunt for a new UK head of government affairs, having promoted Richard Torbett to the role of European pubic affairs director.

AstraZeneca recently strengthened its UK public affairs team by hiring Royal Bank of Scotland lobbyist Dan Evans as government relations and external affairs manager, reporting to head of government affairs Pete Digger. The drugs giant is also on the hunt for a new director of global government affairs to replace Frances Charlesworth, who retired last year.

Meanwhile Sanofi-aventis has added to its lobbying firepower with the hire of Katy Munns as head of public affairs. Munns will move across from rival pharma firm MSD in June. She will report to director of comms and public affairs Cressida Ward.

Finally, Janssen-Cilag has poached Sanofi-aventis government affairs manager Mark Lloyd Davies. He will quit next month to become head of government affairs and comms.

Another pharma firm, Novartis UK, handed a major public affairs account to Lexington Communications (PRWeek, 17 April). Novartis is mounting a fresh public affairs offensive having hired Mandate Communications' Henry Burkitt.

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