Roche bolsters product comms

Swiss firm Roche has lured Olivia Garbutt from Fleishman-Hillard as the latest hire to its product communications team.

Garbutt has already started work at the Welwyn Garden City UK HQ of Roche, the company behind cancer drugs such as Avastin, MabThera and Herceptin.

The UK PR account for MabThera, in its non-Hodgkin's lymphoma indication, is currently being reviewed with four undisclosed agencies scrapping for the business (PRWeek, 11 November).

Garbutt has taken up the role of PR executive and reports to PR manager Greg Page. She is promoting hepatitis C treatment Pegasys, plus various cancer drugs.

She moved straight across from F-H, where she held the role of senior account executive. She was at F-H, and the former CPR Worldwide, for two and a half years and worked for clients including French firm Servier and the Anglo-Swedish company  AstraZeneca.

The Roche UK PR team continues to be run by head of product comms Susie Hackett, who has undertaken a rebuilding job in the firm's PR arm after a string of exits.

She is still recruiting for one further PR manager and another PR executive, roles which – when filled – will take Roche's UK comms team up to 11 staff.

Barely a week has passed in recent months that Roche drugs have not been in the national press, with cancer drug Herceptin in particular making front-page news.

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