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UK appoints pharma veteran to 'streamline' NHS costs

Steve Oldfield will take up new chief commercial officer role at the Department of Health

Steve Oldfield Department of Health chief commercial officerThe UK has recruited pharma veteran Steve Oldfield to fill the newly-created role of chief commercial officer at the Department of Health (DH).

The government wants Oldfield (pictured right) to “streamline commercial costs” for the DH in the pharmaceutical sector and will task him with creating a commercial strategy for supplier negotiations.

These will include the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS). The current version of the five-year scheme began in 2014 and negotiations on its successor are due to begin this Autumn.

That process, difficult for the industry at the best of times, may be further complicated by this year’s Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) act, which gives the DH powers to limit generic prices for medicines that are not covered by the PPRS but are supplied by PPRS member companies.

Oldfield said: “Demands on the health system have never been greater, and I hope to be able to bring my previous commercial experience to bear on the activities of the department.

“In particular, I look forward to working collaboratively across the department, the NHS and the life sciences to find new ways of working for the benefit of patients and the health economy.”

Oldfield, who will report to DH permanent secretary Chris Wormald, will lead the  “sharing of commercial best practice across the wider health family to the benefit of the whole system”.

Wormald said: “We face a number of commercial challenges across the health family, not least putting in place the next generation of the medicines pricing scheme, but we see huge opportunities for better delivery for patients and better value for money for the taxpayers from improved commercial skills and experience.”

Oldfield has more than 25 years’ experience within the healthcare industry, he currently serves as chief operating officer for Procter & Gamble and Teva’s Geneva-based consumer health joint venture.

Prior to that he been UK managing director for both Sanofi and Teva, held senior roles in Asia and Latin America and served on the board of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson said: “Steve is well known to the ABPI.  His extensive experience in senior pharmaceutical roles as UK managing director for Sanofi and Teva will provide the DH with valuable industry expertise.

“I’m confident that this appointment will also positively impact our ability to have open and transparent negotiations with Government and find win-win solutions in which everyone can have confidence.”

Sitting within the government’s commercial function, Oldfield will take up his new post in October, when he will be the most senior commercial manager within its health operations.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

27th July 2017

From: Sales



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