Baxter hires top NICE PRO for PA role

Medical equipment firm Baxter Healthcare has secured the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) corporate affairs director Anne-Toni Rodgers to fill a newly created, European-focused head of public affairs post.

The hire of Rodgers, who is NICE’s most senior communicator and a board-level director at the health body, is a major coup for US-based Baxter, which is seeking to expand its operations outside the US and improve its lobbying activity in the UK and Brussels.

Rodgers confirmed that the role will have a focus on Westminster and the institutions of the European Union. She will take the title director, government affairs and public policy at Baxter, when she joins on 1 November.

Rodgers, who reports to Brussels-based associate general counsel Pierre Destexhe, said: ‘The job profile is to look at the external customer marketplace, Baxter’s relationships with key organisations, such as regulators, and perform a traditional public affairs role.’

The decision on whether or not to replace her and to retain the corporate affairs director role at NICE will be taken by the body’s executive board in November.

Senior comms manager Louise Fish will take on communications responsibilities in the interim, managing a team of 13 communications staff, reporting to NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon.

Rogers’s departure from NICE also comes at a time when there is considerable developmental scope for the organisation.

The NICE board is currently discussing new directions as the Government is considering handing the NHS body responsibility for advising ministers on policy for NHS provision of national screening and borderline substances.

Baxter, which last year had global sales of almost £5.4bn, with the majority of its income in medication delivery, bio-science and renal, would not comment on Rodgers’s appointment when contacted by PRWeek.

More than half of Baxter’s sales come from non-US markets, with Europe being its largest international market.

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