Luther Pendragon, which has taken over from Open Road, has been briefed to help the ABPI communicate the contribution the industry makes to the UK economy, as well as its role in creating life-saving medicines.
The ABPI’s director of corporate affairs Amanda Callaghan said: ‘The ABPI has a challenging agenda in today’s dynamic political and economic environment. We are investing in our ability to successfully represent our members and making substantial changes in our approach to comms and public affairs.’
Luther Pendragon has been brought in on a two-year contract to advise on building better relationships with politicians, patient organisations and the NHS. Some of the challenges include supporting members such as AstraZeneca – the UK’s second-biggest drug maker – which announced a worldwide jobs cut of 7,300 last week. The decision could lead to the loss of 300 positions at the firm’s research and development site in Cheshire.
The ABPI also wants to emphasise the innovative nature of its members’ work and to strengthen the UK’s position as an international competitor in creating life-changing drugs. Currently, ABPI’s members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS and the majority of those under development.
Luther Pendragon MD Simon Whale said: ‘NHS reforms and a changing commercial environment mean that the pharmaceutical industry’s issues are at the top of the political agenda.’