Oestreicher most recently led the healthcare practice at DeVries Public Relations, which he joined last year (PRWeek, 6 August 2004).
In a statement, H&K described Oestreicher as 'one of the early architects of direct-to-patient comms'.
At the agency Oestreicher picks up some of the responsibilities of Paul McDade, who left earlier this year. He reports to US chairman MaryLee Sachs and sits on the US executive committee.
Oestreicher was previously North America vice-president of comms for drugs giant Sanofi-Synthelabo (now part of Sanofi-Aventis), with spells at Wyeth, Hoffmann-La Roche, Genaissance Pharmaceuticals and Medicus PR.