Boehringer cuts team as patents run course

German firm Boehringer Ingelheim is axing two of its UK comms roles, citing the forthcoming loss of patent protection on some of its top brands and the negative effects of ‘parallel trade’.

UK director of comms Jon Hearson confirmed that its five-strong comms team was being streamlined.

Vidya Ganesh, Boehringer Ingelheim's external communications executive, is to leave  along with internal comms executive Liz
Silva. Neither were available for comment.

The departures will leave Boehringer Ingelheim, which is behind products such as respiratory drug Spiriva, with a UK communications team of just three.

Berkshire-based Hearson said: 'The company is being hit by parallel trade, affecting our ex-factory sales.'

He also cited loss of patent protection on painkiller Mobic and cardiovascular product Motens as reasons for the cutbacks.

Boehringer Ingelheim uses various PR agencies in the UK for product comms, liaison with which is primarily handled by brand and product marketing teams. It also uses BMA Communications for corporate advice.

Hearson indicated that decisions had yet to be made as to whether the tightening of budgets affecting the communications department could also spell cutbacks in agency fees.

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