Roche UK merges comms and market access, eliminating director-level post

Roche UK comms director James Woodhouse has left the business after his role was made redundant in a business review resulting in the firm's market access and PR teams merging.

Woodhouse: leaving Roche
Woodhouse: leaving Roche

Woodhouse, who had been with the drug giant since 2005, officially leaves the business this month.

The merged team, consisting of 40 staff, is led by Keith Jordan, formerly the firm's head of national programmes.

The comms part of the team is led by head of public affairs Sara Argent, head of corporate affairs Tina Batchelor and newly hired head of PR David Flynn.

Formerly of agency Eulogy and law firms Pinsent Masons and Bircham Dyson Bell, Flynn joined Roche in mid-2017 from a role as head of corporate for Grayling UK.

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A Roche spokesman said: "We have recently reviewed where our resources are placed throughout the business in order to support our commitment to ensuring that patients in the UK have the best access to medicines in Europe.

"As a result, we have merged our communications and market access directorates. This new team will give us an enhanced ability to engage with the UK access environment and continue to support our strong pipeline.

Of Woodhouse and his post, the spokesman added: "As a result, the director of communications post no longer exists and sadly James Woodhouse has left the business. We would like to thank him for all of his work during his time here, and wish him every success for the future."

Woodhouse himself said: "I'm sad to be leaving Roche, which is an awesome company to do comms for, due to its unique portfolio and culture. However, I'm proud to have left in place a world-class comms team who’ve delivered some remarkable achievements."

He also told PRWeek he was planning to return to a science-focused comms role later in the year, but would now spend time supporting his wife's street food start-up, The Cajun Food Company.

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