Speakers


Alex Davies, Director, Hanover Communications

Alex Davies leads the healthcare corporate communications practice at Hanover, of the UK’s most successful PR and public affairs agencies. He specialises in media relations, issues management and crisis communications. He advises the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on how to manage “bad news” and is widely considered one of the UK’s leading corporate communications experts.

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.

Annalise Coady, President, W2O Group EMEA

Annalise Coady is a senior marketing communications strategist and business leader with over 20 years’ experience helping clients build relevance and protect their reputations, launch businesses and products, move into new markets and geographies and drive revenue. She has built a reputation as a global strategic thinker and trusted counsellor working with organizations in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical device, digital health, technology and consumer sectors. Annalise was honoured in 2017 as one of PRWeek’s Hall of Femme PR Champions and has appeared in UK PRWeek’s Power Book over the last couple of years as one of the top ten players in Pharma/Healthcare communications.

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.

Bhavin Vaid, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Since joining in 2017, Bhavin leads the Global Corporate Communications and Public Affairs function at Ferring, with a large focus on enhancing the company’s presence and reputation across their key therapy areas. Prior to this, Bhavin was the Global Head of Communications for the Immunology and Dermatology Franchise at Novartis HQ in Basel, leading on communications for the treatment Cosentyx, which is rated as one of the best product launches in the pharmaceutical industry to date. Bhavin has 15 years’ experience in the industry, including positions at Pfizer UK and started his career in journalism, writing for business-to-business publications.

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.

Cecilia Dominici, Digital Strategy and Content Director, WE Communications

Cecilia is responsible for leading the digital team at WE Communications, spanning content and creative. Formerly head of social media, news and content at Cancer Research UK, she grew and led a team of 20 specialists and was responsible for the charity’s brand strategy, creative output and digital presence. In that time, she delivered campaigns including the first-ever Facebook Livestream from inside the human body. Cecilia previously worked with media and creative agencies for clients including EE, GSK, Unilever and Deutsche Bank.

Charlotte Davies, Head of Communications, Healthcare, Merck

Charlotte Davies has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years is currently UK Head of UK Communications at Merck Healthcare. Before joining Merck last year, Charlotte held various communications and patient advocacy roles at Novartis, AbbVie and Abbott. Prior to that she worked on the agency side, specialising in communications campaigns and issues management for numerous public sector clients including the NHS.

Christian Marcoux, Senior Vice President-Global Communications, Ipsen SA and Secretary & Chief Legal Officer, IPL Plastics

Christian Marcoux holds the position of Senior Vice President-Global Communications at Ipsen SA and Secretary & Chief Legal Officer for IPL Plastics, Inc. He is also Member of Québec Bar Association. He previously was Vice President-Operations of LYRtech, Inc., Senior Director-Mergers, Acquisitions & Financing at Quebecor, Inc. Assistant Secretary at TVA Group, Inc. and Assistant Secretary at Vidéotron Ltée (both are subsidiaries of Quebecor, Inc.) and Secretary & Vice President-Legal Affairs at Laurentian Bank of Canada. He received an undergraduate degree from Université Laval.

Clara Bentham, Global Corporate Communications Director, Norgine

Clara Bentham is the Global Corporate Communications Director at Norgine, a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company that has been bringing transformative medicines to patients for over a century. She is driven by a strong set of values to work in a sector which helps to improve people's health and wellbeing and is proud to be a Corporate Communications Leader who has worked with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

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.

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.

James Fitzpatrick, Head of Patient Engagment and Governement Affairs, Janssen

James has worked for Janssen in a number of roles since 2014 and heads up the Patient Engagement and Government Affairs team in the UK. He has overseen the creation of this team since its inception and has driven the change in how Janssen works with patients and Patient Groups since 2015. Before Janssen, he worked for 8 years in political communication and followed that with various roles in the charitable sector working for both international development and healthcare charities over a 3 year period. James studied Economics and Politics at Glasgow University and still devotes some of his free time as a trustee of an equine welfare charity based in Devon.

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.

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.

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.

Kate Hawker, Practice Leader, W2O Group

Kate has a 30-year track record in the health communications sector and is passionate about communicating complex science to a wide set of audiences including policy makers and payors, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, analysts and the media. Kate was named PR Week’s Power Book top health agency lead in 2018 and 2019 and is a long-standing PR Week and Communiqué judge.

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.

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

Maria is Pharma and MedTech Lead at Prostate Cancer UK where she is responsible for developing and delivering partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies specialising in this therapeutic area. With a focus on developing an engagement strategy for the sector that involves the whole organisation, she works to find new and meaningful ways to work with the industry that add value for all parties. With extensive charity experience spanning over ten years Maria has worked with national and international patient group organisations based in the UK. Prior to moving to the charity sector Maria has worked for Edelman and other smaller healthcare PR consultancies. This has given her experience of how the sector operates and its driving priorities as well as a better insight of how patient groups and industry could collaborate to deliver better outcomes for patients.

Mike Dixon, Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Communications Association

Mike is the CEO of the Healthcare Communications Association. With 30 years in healthcare communications, working in-house and leading and owning specialist agencies, Mike brings UK and global multichannel experience extending across pharma, medical devices and consumer. As well as consultancy roles, Mike still owns and is a working director of Specialist Publishers, which has published journals such as the Commissioning Journal and the medical devices journal - MDET.

Paul Carless, Patient Ambassador, Bloodwise

Paul Carless was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), a blood cancer, at Christmas 2013. Paul’s CML treatment, has turned his cancer from a lethal illness to a manageable, chronic condition. Since diagnosis, Paul has worked to raise awareness of living with blood cancer through his work as a patient ambassador for Bloodwise. As part of this work, Paul undertakes physical challenges each year. He has cycled from London to Paris twice, completed the Blenheim Triathlon, cycled from Amsterdam to Yorkshire, from the Uk’s coast to coast in a day and is attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in June.

Peter Impey, Managing Director of Communications, 90TEN

Peter is the Managing Director of 90TEN Communications, the Public Relations practice of 90TEN. He is a passionate advocate for innovation and a driving force behind multiple award-winning campaigns that have been recognised for their creativity and outcomes focused approach. He has two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical sector having held positions at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Galliard, Ketchum and Virgo. Prior to this Peter trained as a pharmacologist at King’s College London.

Philippa Cahill, Director, M&F Health

Philippa Cahill is a Director at M&F Health. With 25 years’ experience in healthcare communications, Philippa is a proven campaigns director with a rich history in delivery of patient-focused work. Philippa has particular expertise in creative communication and storytelling, and is known for her approach that focuses on articulating patient experience. She leads the Creative Network at M&F Health and has been responsible for a number of award-recognised and winning creative campaigns. She is a noted advocate for the movement to integrate arts, culture and creativity into the health and wellbeing space.

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.

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.

Richard Maughan, Director of UK Policy and Public Affairs, Pfizer

Richard is Director of UK Policy and Public Affairs at Pfizer, where he heads a team of specialists working across the breadth of Pfizer’s innovation footprint. He joined from Lilly, where as Head of UK Government Affairs he established the company’s response to Brexit following the EU referendum. Before entering life sciences, Richard was Head of Campaigns at the CBI as the UK experienced two major national referendums and a General Election in which the role of business was central. Richard studied Politics at the University of Edinburgh and UC Santa Cruz, and grew up in the North East of England.

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.

Tejinder Virk, President, Europe, Khiron Life Sciences

Tejinder is a proven leader with over 15 years of executive-level experience in the capital markets and cannabis industry. Tejinder previously served as Deputy Managing Director, Europe, for Canopy Growth Corporation, where he was responsible for driving the multinational expansion of Canopy's European operations. He was also formerly Managing Director of Global Equity Products for BMO Capital Markets, a role which saw him developing and managing major client relationships across EMEA.

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