BRUSSELS: Pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo Wellcome has poached European
Strategy’s managing director Steve Rankin to become its first EU affairs
Rankin started work at Glaxo’s Brussels-based office this week and is
responsible for the company’s relations with the European Parliament and
the European Commission.
His remit includes lobbying on issues including parallel trade. Glaxo
deems this trade, whereby cheaper medicines from southern Europe flood
the northern European market where identical products are more
expensive, to constitute unfair competition.
Rankin now reports to Glaxo executive director for EMEA, James
Rankin’s remit was previously handled by associate EU affairs director
Claudine Steyaert, who now reports to him. As well as Steyaert, Rankin
will oversee two further staff.
Explaining his company’s decision to create Rankin’s post, Glaxo’s media
relations head Martin Sutton said: ’The influence of EU institutions on
Glaxo Wellcome is growing. This move will strengthen our ability to
communicate the company’s position on public affairs issues to the
European Parliament and the commission.’
Rankin has headed public affairs agency European Strategy for the past
year-and-a-half. The agency intends to replace him, although it has not
yet appointed a successor.
Before joining European Strategy, Rankin worked at Burson-Marsteller and
lobbying firm Market Access (now GPC). His work included founding Market
Access’ Brussels operation in 1988 and its US operation in 1992.
Glaxo Wellcome is one of the world’s top three manufacturers of
prescription medicine. Its most recent financial results showed a profit
of pounds 2.7 billion on a turnover of pounds 8 billion. The company
does not employ a public affairs agency in Brussels.