Alex Wyke, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, PatientView

Alex is CEO and founder of PatientView, a UK-based research, publishing and consultancy group. PatientView has worked to build bridges worldwide with the health NGOs that comprise the patient movement, to help define and support one of the most important phenomenon changing healthcare in the 21st Century. PatientView is the publisher and owner of the series Corporate Reputation of Pharma – from a patient perspective, Benchmarking the Patient Movement as well as the online mhealth resource for public and patients, myhealthapps.net.

Andrew Powrie-Smith, Executive Director of Communications & Partnerships, EFPIA

Andrew Powrie-Smith is Executive Director of Communications & Partnerships at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA).Prior to woking at EFPIA, Andrew was Director of Reputation and Stakeholder Engagement at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), in addition to his role as country Director in Scotland.  Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Andrew was Director of the British Lung Foundation in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He worked in the UK and internationally with a number of NGOs including Amnesty International, Scope and the Red Cross, where he was also member of the International Emergency Response Unit. Andrew lives on a farm on the West Coast of Scotland, with wife Lena and three children. In his spare time he coaches rugby and is a qualified Yachtmaster Ocean, Divemaster and kayaking instructor.

Avril Fudge, Communications and PR Lead EMENA, Accord Healthcare

Avril has over 20 years communications experience across consumer, healthcare and corporate sectors. Avril started her career at Ketchum, before taking lead roles in the new business departments at Bray Leino and Guinness Care. Her BSc in Psychology and post graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy provided a good foundation for analysing and understanding audience trends to develop insightful strategic approaches that worked. Avril’s passion for corporate social responsibility has followed her throughout her career and she has always strived to create programmes that make a difference both internally and externally. In 2017, Avril joined Accord UK taking a lead role in PR and Comms, where she was swiftly promoted to take on the EMENA remit and where she has continued her passion to establish a CSR policy at Accord and partner with leading organisations to increase access to high-quality affordable medicines around the world.

Catherine Devaney, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Health, UK, WE Communications

As the deputy managing director and head of health at WE Communications, Catherine Devaney works with key clients and new business prospects to grow WE’s health sector in the UK and beyond. Catherine uses proprietary Brands in Motion research to assess environmental factors, understand the shifting perceptions of B2B decision makers and consumers, and provide insight-driven recommendations to clients across the health and well-being sectors.

With a 20+ year career in healthcare communications, starting in a UK patient group at Marie Curie Cancer Care, Catherine has always been about the people — clients, colleagues and, most importantly, audiences. Before joining WE, Catherine spent 16 years at Red Door (seven of those as managing director), where she grew the firm from a team of five to an agency of 40. While there, she worked on innovative campaigns, including a campaign with the World Hepatitis Alliance to mark World Hepatitis Day. At WE, Catherine works with pharmaceutical, consumer health, health tech and NGO clients.

Danny Buckland, Freelance Health Journalist

Danny Buckland is an award-winning journalist who writes about health for major national newspapers, European magazines and online outlets. His track record includes extensive experience at senior executive level on British newspapers. He is regularly commissioned to write insight pieces for the The Times’ Raconteur health sections and is a contributor to panel discussions and health debates. His work concentrates strongly on recalibrating the future of healthcare across prevention, diagnosis, treatment and system delivery. He has produced White Papers and thought leadership projects for a range of clients and charities.

Diana Evans, Head of Communications, Napp Pharmaceuticals

Diana has worked in healthcare communications for 17 years. Her industry experience spans both agency and in-house roles including six years at GSK supporting product communications in the UK before joining the Global Corporate function and the unique opportunity to launch the GSK London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games anti-doping laboratory. Diana went on to lead communications for the GSK-McLaren partnership before venturing into her own successful Consultancy work for several years. Diana joined Napp Pharmaceuticals in 2018 in a newly formed role, allowing her to build a communications function and team to support the business through significant issues management and shape the future Corporate brand and narrative.

Elaine Towell, Head of Media and Communications, ABPI

Elaine joined the ABPI in October 2015, to support the set-up of the ABPI’s press office function. As Head of Media and Communications at the pharmaceutical industry trade body, her remit includes media relations, corporate communications, member communications crisis communications and social and digital media. Elaine’s background is in media and communications across the health sector, covering life-sciences, public health and hospitals. Before joining the ABPI she was Senior Strategic Communications Manager at private hospital and wellbeing organisation, Nuffield Health, where she was responsible for leading communications for the UK hospitals division. Prior to this she was Media Relations Manager at the Royal College of Surgeons, working on award winning campaigns to improve surgical practice and patient care in the UK.

Elisa Agate, External Communications Lead, AstraZeneca UK Marketing Company

Elisa has worked in healthcare communications for almost 20 years, starting her career and building experience working on a variety of major global and UK clients at Edelman before joining AstraZeneca seven years ago. Since joining AZ, Elisa has led on the development and recent expansion of the commercial team’s busy external communications function, which has launched over ten new medicines/indications in recent years. While supporting communications across AZ’s portfolio in the UK, Elisa is currently leading on the company’s expanding oncology portfolio across lung, women’s and haematological cancers.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind

Emma is Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind. Emma joined Mind in 2007 and, since 2010, has led Mind’s campaigning for mentally healthy workplaces - playing a pivotal role in thought leadership to position mental health in the workplace as a key priority for employers and Government. Emma has led culture change through engagement with employers, health and safety professionals, HR audiences and Government on mental health in the workplace and back-to-work support for people with mental health problems. She also supports networks of employers and stakeholders to share best practice and develop business-to-business peer support. Emma has worked in the disability sector since 2005 and previously worked for Mencap, the learning disability charity.

Emma Sergeant, President of Europe, DAS, Omnicom

As President of Europe for DAS (Diversified Agency Services), a division of Omnicom, Emma works with a breadth of agency disciplines in helping them to grow and develop their business offers. Additionally, Emma is the co-Managing Partner of ONE HUNDRED Europe, an Omnicom agency collective which aligns people, strategy, resources, branding, messaging and digital experiences around purpose. Emma trained as a paediatric ICU nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, before joining the pharmaceutical industry to undertake roles in sales, marketing and brand and corporate communications. Emma first joined the agency world 20 years ago to head a medical education agency both in the UK and US. Subsequently she was Group Managing Director and President of LatAm and Asia for Ogilvy Healthworld overseeing Advertising, PR, Medical Education, Clinical Trial Recruitment, Consulting and digital divisions.

Jeremy Durrant, Communications Director, British Generic Manufacturers Association

Jeremy is the communications director for both the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) and the British Biosimilars Association (BBA) and leads on all internal and external communications and stakeholder activity on behalf of the association. In addition to this role, he is also a partner within the healthcare practice at Instinctif Partners.

Jo Spadaccino, Head of Client Partnerships, Pegasus

Jo joined Pegasus - a marcomms consultancy delivering creative, industry-leading programmes that inspire healthy decisions – in 2010 to establish the Pharma & Life Sciences team. Her current role reaches across many industry sectors – from animal to human health, and highly regulated medicines to FMCG goods and services. A science graduate, she’s spent her career in the health communications arena both as a Consultant as well as working in-house for the NHS, covering everything from health campaigning and education in areas such as diabetes, cardiology, immunology, rheumatology, multiple sclerosis, and rare diseases, in addition to issues management and brand strategy for products and businesses.

Jill Pearcy, Director, ABPI Code Engagement

Jill joined the ABPI in 2018 as Director, ABPI Code Engagement. Her remit is to champion self-regulation across the industry and with stakeholders; to lead development and evolution of the Code; and to assess requirements for, and deliver, services and support around the Code, including managing the ABPI’s delivery of disclosure. She was previously Head of Corporate Communications at HS2 Ltd, the infrastructure megaproject to build the UK’s high-speed rail network, where she was responsible for leading communications as the project moved from the research phase into construction. Earlier in her career, Jill served as Head of Media Relations at NATS, the UK’s air traffic controllers, during the volcanic ash crisis, and led communications for Unisys in Europe.

Kesha Tansey, Associate Director, Pegasus

Kesha has over a decade’s experience in healthcare communications, focussing on fully-integrated programmes for a range of audiences on a local, regional and global level. Kesha has led a multitude of pre- and post-launch programmes, and has worked across rare diseases, oncology, respiratory, dermatology, vaccines, virology, diagnostics, pain management and health tech. Following completing a Journalism MA, Kesha worked for a not-for-profit healthcare organisation prior to joining Ashfield Healthcare Communications and Pegasus. Kesha has led the delivery of award-winning strategic communication programmes and as such brings significant experience in the principles and processes involved in communications. Through her passion for creativity, Kesha has partnered with many pharmaceutical clients to push the boundaries of what is possible, whilst navigating the complex compliance environment.

Kristine Kelly, Head of Communications and Patient Advocacy, Novartis Oncology UK

Kristine is Head of Communications and Patient Advocacy for Novartis Oncology, UK. She has almost 15 years of experience in healthcare communications and media relations, both in the UK and in the US, including with Gilead, Edelman Public Relations, and at Rockefeller University. Throughout Kristine’s career, she has focused on how communications can enable market development, customer and patient engagement, and medical / scientific messaging. Kristine also holds a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from Weill Cornell Medical College (Cornell University), New York.

Laura Vergani, Vice President, International and Divisional Communications, Walgreens Boots Enterprise

Laura Vergani is Vice President, International and Divisional Communications at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Laura is responsible for a number of communications areas across the company and its businesses: she drives WBA corporate communications and PR outside the USA, including M&A and business development; crisis communications; and our overall reputation management across WBA’s international presence. She leads the WBA International Communications Partnership (ICP), a communications delivery group combining teams across PR, internal content and publications, digital, events, branding and creative, and business communications projects. Laura also oversees all Divisional and cross-divisional communications outside the USA, including Boots UK, Retail Pharmacy International outside UK & ROI, Global Brands, and Pharmaceutical Wholesale, with a mission to ensure coordination and consistency across our enterprise.

Dr Loubna Bouarfa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, OKRA Technologies

Loubna is the founder and CEO of OKRA Technologies - an artificial intelligence data analytics company for healthcare. OKRA allows healthcare professionals to combine all their data in one place and generate evidence-based insights in real time, to save and improve human lives. Loubna is currently a member of the European Union High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, where she is particularly focused on healthcare and achieving competitive business impact with AI. She was named an MIT Technology Review Top Innovator Under 35, a Forbes 50 Top Women In Tech, and recently won the prize for Best Female-Led Startup at the StartUp Europe Awards. On a personal level, she is a strong advocate for diversity, women and challenging the status quo.

Maria Caporaso, Pharma & Med Tech lead, Prostate Cancer UK

Bio to be added

Richa Bhardwaj, Global external communicationa, GSK

Richa works on global external communications for GSK’s respiratory business. She has 10 years of strategic communications experience having worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Most recently, she worked with Xynteo, a sustainability advisory, helping businesses rethink strategies so they could use their commercial muscle to address some of the biggest socio-economic challenges facing the world. Prior to that, Richa spent several years at Edelman where she was recognised as top talent for delivering successful campaigns, helping clients such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, TATA Group, and Kraft understand external landscapes and navigate issues and crises that impacted their reputation.

Rachel Royall, Communications Director UK Healthcare & Life Sciences, IBM

Rachel Royall is Communication Director for IBM UK Healthcare and Life Sciences. Most of her career has been spent in the UK Public Sector, she has led Board level communications for complex organisations including the NHS, HM Revenue and Customs, Cabinet Office, Department of Health and Social Care and local government. Before her move to IBM Rachel was named as one of the top ten Director of Communications in the public sector in the PRWeek 2019 Power Book for the second year running. Rachel is an advocate of implementing communication and engagement strategies for organisations that help drive culture change, leading to enhanced organisational performance and improved reputation. She is a CIPR Fellow and Chartered Practitioner, CIPR Council Member and chair of the CIPR Health Group representing PR professionals across Europe. She is a visiting lecturer at Quadriga University of Science and Technology in Berlin.

Sabina Syed, Founder and Managing Director, Visions4health

Sabina established Visions4Health in 2007. She has over 25 years of experience in healthcare – spanning NHS, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare consulting. Sabina remains passionate about supporting the life sciences industry's shift to a 'health systems approach' to business, co-producing patient solutions with budget holders to enable access and uptake of innovations. Sabina is proud of Visions4Health's track record as an implementer of customer-focused approaches, supporting clients to navigate strategic and organisational access and uptake challenges. Additionally, Sabina is actively involved as co-chair of the Pharmatimes Marketer and Communications team of the year awards and runs the market access courses for Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) and PRIME.

Simon Enright, Director of Communications, NHS England

Simon enjoys using the skills learned in nearly two decades at the BBC to help influence audiences and inspire change to improve health care in England. He is passionate about the NHS and keen to ensure it is accurately represented in the media, to parliament, and with key partners. He is also determined that NHS staff get the recognition they deserve for their commitment to providing diligent care, on the basis of need and not ability to pay. Simon leads a team providing all round communication support for NHS England - press, public affairs, publishing, parliamentary briefing, marketing, brand management, events including the annual Innovation Expo conference, bulletins, campaigns, strategic communication and Freedom of Information

Stuart Hehir, Creative Director, Pegasus

Stuart is responsible for the overall creative reputation of the agency, while also leading a dedicated creative team of 20+ people, comprising designers, writers, animators, developers and videographers. Working closely with the strategy team, he is responsible for ensuring the agency’s CHANGE planning model is stitched into the creative process, in order to deliver better outcomes. He spends most of his time playing a key role in client campaign creation and new business. During the last 20 years, he has devised and implemented integrated health campaigns for the likes of Samaritans, GSK and Novo Nordisk, as well as mainstream consumer campaigns for Barclaycard, Guinness, Discovery Channel Europe and LinkedIn.

Con Franklin, Managing Director, Health, Ketchum

Con is a senior healthcare communicator with over 20 years’ agency experience in leading corporate reputation, brand and issues readiness programmes for some of the biggest names in medicine. An advocate for the integration of data analytics into pharma communication strategy, he leads a 25-strong team at Ketchum’s London base supporting healthcare businesses big and small to tell evidence-based stories on the local, regional and global stage. Working closely with comms directors, he seeks to inject creativity, innovative approaches and robust evaluation to both brand and corporate PR.

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