Roche gives Hackett pan-European role

Pharmaceutical giant Roche is moving to strengthen pan-European communications as the region's governments consider austerity healthcare spending.

LONDON: Pharmaceutical giant Roche is moving to strengthen pan-European communications as the region's governments consider austerity healthcare spending.

Roche has promoted UK director of communications Susie Hackett to head of comms for Europe.

Hackett, who is being replaced by Roche's former head of public affairs James Woodhouse, will work to strengthen coordination across European markets.  

“The first priority is to establish an information flow across the region internally, as there's not been anything like that before,” she said. “Leading comms internally with the regional management teams and finding what elements unify us will be key.”

The Swiss drug maker reported an 11% rise in first-half profits earlier this year to 6.65 Swiss francs, or about $7.3 billion.

However, across Europe, post-financial-crisis government spending is under pressure, with healthcare budgets often affected.

Hackett, who has worked at Roche for 13 years, pointed to the way that governments are considering the use and distribution of drugs as a longer-term focus.

“Austerity measures across Europe and pressures on budgets means that governments are looking at the pricing and the reimbursement of medicines,” she said. “In the mid- to long-term, looking at access to medicines is a key component [as is] considering how Roche can engage with that aspect."

The company is also recruiting for a similar role covering Asia.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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