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Vertex seeks Director, EU Government Affairs and Public Policy

Vertex 5<y Senior Level  London, England, United Kingdom 21 Apr 2018

Job Description

Director, EU Government Affairs and Public Policy

Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. We discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and offices around the world. For several consecutive years, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences.

Job description

Reporting to the Senior Director International Government Affairs & Public Policy (GAPP), the Director, EU Government Affairs & Public Policy will be responsible for developing and managing the company’s EU advocacy strategy and support the development of international public policy.

This is a highly interactive role with a major external-facing component.  The primary objective of this position is to formulate strategies, build EU coalitions and advocate for public policies and public policy changes that enable and support Vertex’s marketed products and research and development activities in Europe and internationally.  The role will identify policy and regulatory barriers from EU Institutions and governments internationally, which could have a negative impact on the ability of patients to access Vertex’s medicines.

Some of the issues that may arise include policies related to testing and diagnosis, rare disease funding and therapy pricing, treatment guidelines, and governmental health policy and regulatory initiatives relevant to supporting breakthrough therapies in serious diseases.  The new Director will need to have a good understanding of how these governmental processes work at EU level.

The role will include developing EU policy and advocacy strategies across several functional areas, including research, clinical development, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, commercial, corporate communications and health outcomes/market access.

In addition, this position will co-lead company’s ongoing efforts to leverage relevant EU industry associations and coalitions, build and sustain meaningful health policy and academic collaborations at EU level and internationally to support the needs of patients and advance our company’s goals in Europe.

The Director will be based in London and be a core member of the International Corporate Affairs Team, the International Market Access & Policy (IMAP) and Global Market Access teams.  In addition he/she will work closely with the International CF Strategy Team (ICFST) and Country organisations on defined policy issues. The role will also build and leverage relationships with relevant external stakeholders, including industry associations and other relevant coalitions in line with Vertex’s approved and agreed business strategy.

The position will also support the management of the company’s government affairs consultants at EU level.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with core teams, key functions, ICFST and IMAP to identify and address EU, legislative and public policy obstacles and opportunities to assist in achieving our local and regional objectives, including commercial, medical, and regulatory goals;
  • Proactively monitor, influence and shape relevant EU pharmaceutical, healthcare and regulatory policy;
  • Develop and execute EU Institutional advocacy and relations strategies to support Vertex regulatory strategies and affiliates in their market access policy issues.
  • Represent and lead Vertex engagement in selected EU industry organisations
  • Work with relevant functions to develop position papers and policy materials to support external advocacy campaigns;
  • Develop and leverage high-level relationships with academic groups, and stakeholders to achieve Vertex goals, bring value to patients and enhance the Company’s standing and reputation

Minimum Qualifications

  • Significant current and relevant experience in EU Public Health & Pharmaceutical Policy, Healthcare, Communications, or European Patient Advocacy;
  • Bachelor’s degree (BS/BA) in science, law, government or public policy from an accredited school required.  Advanced degree (MS/MA/MPH/MBA/JD) preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of pharmaceutical industry, EU Institutions and EU healthcare, industry and regulatory policy.
  • A high level of energy and passion toward patients, science and public health;
  • A desire to work in the corporate culture of a highly innovative company aimed at redefining health, and transforming lives with new medicines.
  • Working knowledge and appreciation of the complexities of the drug development process and regulatory requirements;
  • Understanding of the patient and caregiver experience in CF/ rare diseases to include, diagnosis, treatment, and treatment options preferred;
  • Knowledge of the EU advocacy community/individuals in rare diseases/CF preferred;
  • Some experience in regulatory intelligence and policy activities, e.g. via roles in the pharmaceutical industry, consultancies or government bodies.
  • Good professional network within the EU policy and regulatory environment
  • A dynamic, business focused and creative individual with a strong background in healthcare
  • Demonstrated ability to earn the confidence of senior executives and to help them understand and leverage the value to be gained through strengthened relationships with governments and leading policymakers.
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with policymakers, and personally lead/initiate policy changing initiatives in line with strategy.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage consultants and other government affairs professionals.
  • Strategic ability, as evidenced by an awareness of the “big picture” strategic issues facing the business overall and in different markets both in the short and long term; an ability to see local competitive positioning relative to global and international strategy; strong analytical ability; and an ability to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity.
  • Ability to travel up to 30-40%;
  • Ability to influence and interact effectively with internal and external customers
  • Ability to work effectively across functions and facilitate cross-functional interaction
  • Team player with good interpersonal skills
  • Good communication and presentation skills
  • Good organization skills
  • Fluency in English and either Italian, French or German, written and spoken

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