ABPI appoints new Executive Director of Government Affairs
The ABPI has moved to appoint Saratha Rajeswaran to the position of Executive Director of Government Affairs and Devolved Nations. It will be a role of some significance as the UK manages the fallout from Brexit and the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, will have to adjust to life outside of the EU, with a degree of uncertainty about how it will now bring drugs to market in the UK.
Rajeswaran worked as a Special Advisor to the Conservative Party for four years previously, advising Theresa May (prior to her being the leader of the party) and Theresa Villiers; these connections to the Conservative Party may become useful as the pharma industry works with the government to smooth its own Brexit transition. There are large questions over the future of drug regulation in the UK and how it will proceed to approve drugs, whether through recognising the EMA’s decisions or by enlarging the MHRA to cope with the increased workload.
As well as working with the government, Rajeswaran worked at Network rail as Chief of Staff and most recently was Associate Director at Edelman.
Rajeswaran noted the challenges faced on her appointed: “With a general election looming and Brexit negotiations getting underway in earnest, I am looking forward to working across Westminster and our devolved nations to secure the best possible environment for maintaining and growing our world-leading pharmaceutical industry in the UK. With the opportunities and challenges ahead, it’s an exciting time to join one of the UK’s leading industrial sectors, with an outstanding track record of delivering real innovation to patients and the NHS.”
Mike Thompson, ABPI CEO, explained the decision behind Rajeswaran’s appointment: “I am delighted that Sara will be playing a leading role in our outstanding Government Affairs team. At a crucial point for UK business as well as the NHS, her diverse range of experience and knowledge will be a huge asset for the ABPI as we look to build on the progress we have made in recent years. We must make sure that our new Government is decisive in making sure the UK keeps its position as a location of choice for the global pharmaceutical industry.”
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