GPC hires healthcare chief from rival agency APCO

APCO UK associate manager Claire Ashbridge-Thomlinson has joined rival lobbying outfit GPC International as head of its UK healthcare practice.

Ashbridge-Thomlinson started as associate director this week. She said her aims included targeting new health-related public affairs business from the IT firms that are competing for contracts across the National Health Service.

Ashbridge-Thomlinson effectively replaces Richard Marsh, who left two years ago to join Bristol-Myers Squibb as director of external affairs (PRWeek, 12 October 2001).

She reports to GPC MD Kevin Bell and leads a team of eight healthcare public affairs staff, working with clients such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and the American Pharmaceutical Group.

Ashbridge-Thomlinson joined APCO two-and-a-half years ago as senior consultant from the intelligence unit for Parliamentary Communications.

Meanwhile, bio-theraphy firm Verigen has re-appointed GPC to handle PA work during 2004.

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