Dean Sowman, who joins from Portland, where he was an account director, brings with him a decade of experience in public affairs, market-access programmes and disease-awareness campaigns, as well as crisis management.
He will work with WA Health's director, Caroline Gordon, to grow the agency's capability in public affairs and PR.
Earlier in Sowman's career, he worked for MHP Communications and for the not-for-profit organisation UKActive, where he held a policy role.
WA Health said Sowman had worked on some of the world's leading and most innovative therapies, many of which faced market-access challenges, including a cancer treatment known as CAR-T therapy – the first of its kind in the UK – and a disruptive Type 2 diabetes therapy.
Sowman will be joined at the agency by new account manager Saagar Dattani, previously at agency GPLUS, where he specialised in issues management and comms for pharma and med-tech firms.
Gordon said the recruits, both of whom will take up their new roles this month, arrived at an exciting time for the agency and would add extra "firepower" to the team.
Flagship account win
The hires came as WA Health announced it had been appointed by pharma multinational Bayer to lead government affairs for the company's cardiovascular treatment, following a competitive pitch.
The agency will support Bayer’s market-access work to assist its expansion into coronary or peripheral arterial disease, as well as its existing work in anti-coagulation for stroke prevention.
Gordon (pictured), who joined the agency from Incisive Health last summer, will lead the account and report to Andrew Brown, government and industry affairs manager for Bayer.
Recent wins for WA Health include Sanofi's oncology portfolio and corporate comms for Takeda.
Commenting on the agency's latest client, Gordon said: "This is a flagship win for WA Health and exactly the kind of work we thrive on. We’re delighted to add Bayer to our growing client list. It's been a really strong few months for the WA team across our specialisms in health and wellbeing and we're all hugely looking forward to building on this success in 2019."
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