GSK lobbyist Topen walks out for arch-rival Pfizer

GlaxoSmithKline’s top UK lobbyist Andrew Topen is defecting to rival US drugs firm Pfizer as the marketing practices of the pharma industry come under heavy parliamentary scrutiny.

Topen, who is head of government affairs at GSK, will leave next month to become Pfizer’s head of comms, reporting to corporate affairs director Colette Goldrick. His move leaves GSK seeking a replacement, who it is understood will report to UK director of external affairs Neil McCrae.

Topen joined GSK in May 2001 as government affairs manager from the British Medical Association.

GSK became the first pharma firm to make publicly available the results of clinical trials of its marketed medicines when it launched its ‘clinical trial register’ last September.

The move is intended to appease critics who have accused companies of suppressing negative trial results.

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