Former ABPI public affairs chief and London mayoral adviser joins healthcare agency

The former head of government affairs for pharma trade body the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has been hired as a director at specialist healthcare agency OVID.

Roudie Shafie (left) has joined Ovid's founder Jenny Ousbey (right) as a director at the agency
Roudie Shafie (left) has joined Ovid's founder Jenny Ousbey (right) as a director at the agency

Roudie Shafie, who was also a key aide to Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London and had a senior public affairs role for Pfizer UK, will focus on new business development for OVID's pharma and life sciences work.

She will work on a range of briefs including public affairs, corporate comms and campaigns, and will report directly to the agency’s founder, former Lib Dem health adviser Jenny Ousbey.

OVID has five full-time staff along with 13 associates who work for it on a project basis. The agency counts the charities ACT for Cancer and The Eve Appeal, as well as the NHS Confederation, among its clients.

Earlier career

Shafie began her career as a campaigner for Oxfam before taking a role as a senior policy adviser to the Mayor of London, advising on health, life sciences and immigration and integration policy.

She was also part of the early MedCity team, the UK's first life-science cluster agency, delivering strategic research infrastructure funding for London, and remained at City Hall for nearly six years.

Shafie took an in-house role working as policy and public affairs manager for Pfizer UK before joining the ABPI as head of government affairs.

New challenge

Commenting on her new role, Shafie said: "OVID has a truly fresh and new approach in the industry and I'm delighted to join forces with Jenny and be a formidable force in healthcare comms and public affairs… I look forward to playing a big role in establishing us as the go-to agency for inventive campaigns in health."

Ousbey added: "Everyone in the pharma sector knows Roudie to be a top-rate adviser and strategic thinker in life sciences and in healthcare. I am delighted she is joining OVID at such an exciting time as we continue to reinvent healthcare communications and policy engagement to stand out from the rest of the market."

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