INTERNATIONAL: European Strategy MD poached by Wellcome

BRUSSELS: Pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo Wellcome has poached European Strategy’s managing director Steve Rankin to become its first EU affairs director.

BRUSSELS: Pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo Wellcome has poached European

Strategy’s managing director Steve Rankin to become its first EU affairs

director.



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

Cochrane.



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.



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