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Katja Murray

Katja Murray, Senior Director, Healthcare and Lifesciences

FTI Consulting

My Job

I work with strategic communication and public affairs in life science. Supporting clients with developing strategies for public affairs and external communication, both at a global, EMEA and EU-level. Services include: i) analysing and monitoring specific EU legislation; ii) messaging and positioning to drive a particular agenda; iii) support when launching a new treatment, where public affair, market access policies and strategic communication are key components in securing a successful launch.

The EU Pharmaceutical Package has just been released by the EU Commission, probably the most substantive legislative overhaul in the healthcare and life sciences sector in more than twenty years. This will take centre stage for the coming 4-5 years. For biotech and pharmaceutical companies this may significantly change the way they plan their research and bring treatments to the market. We help them understand the legislation, prioritise what matters and assess potential impact on their current business and portfolio.

As FTI has offices in most European capitals, an important part of our job is to monitor policies influencing the life science industry across Europe, understand the interface between Brussels and EU member states, and create opportunities for stakeholder engagement in Brussels, as well as in EU member states.

Finally, one of the areas that I am passionate about, is how to track and measure the impact of public affairs, how to make it clear how public affairs/government affairs contribute to business, both by creating new business opportunities as well as mitigating risks.

My Experience

I have been working withing global pharmaceutical companies with strategic communication and government affairs for the last 12 years. I started in LEO Pharma back in 2010, at that point in time the company was under a large transition and wanted to build a global public affairs function. I worked 7 years in LEO Pharma, building and leading their global public affairs team as well as working closely with the executive leadership team on how to position LEO Pharma and supporting the CEO with external engagement.

In the late summer 2016 I was contacted by GSK. It was shortly after the Brexit referendum, and I had appetite to try “big pharma” after working for a mid-sized company. I am a fan of the EU, however from a professional perspective, it was a fascinating challenge to work in a company headquartered in London, as part of their Brexit team, in the heat of the negotiations. I was privileged that my family agreed to move to London. I worked 5 years for GSK in London, leading government affairs across EMEA for their consumer healthcare business, as well as being part of the corporate Brexit coordination team and later the Covid-19 coordination team.

Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, I worked 8 years in various trade associations, both the European Youth Forum, as well as the Danish Dairy Board, supporting members with insights, advocacy and policy campaigns targeted both Danish and EU audiences.

My Specialisms

My Proudest Achievements

During the Covid pandemic India imposed an export ban on several API’s (the active pharmaceutical ingredient in medicines). I worked for GSK at that time. In a joint effort with teams in Brussels, across the EU and in India, we managed to unlock the situation, which ended with the export ban being lifted and the medicines continued to be available in both India and across the EU.

My Education

An MA in Anthropology from University of Copenhagen, a degree in European Studies from College of Europe in Natolin (Poland), and Leadership Training Program in LEO Pharma. Currently, I am spending some late nights on a part-time Executive Master of Science in Corporate Communication.

My Languages

English, Danish, Swedish

My Interests outside work

I have three energic kids, they normally keep me busy and help me stay fit outside of working hours.

Being Danish, and growing up in Copenhagen and Edinburgh, I learned to embrace the cold, damp weather, why winter swimming is a passion of mine during long winters.

My Favourite Brussels anecdote

Many years ago, when working for LEO Pharma, we had organised a big event in Brussels. I had asked one of our commercial leaders to speak at the event. It turned out that he was turning 40 on the day. We only found out rather late in the day, when it was too late to book a table at a nice restaurant. We therefore decided to go to Maison Antoine at place Jourdan. He had what I believe is called “a mitraillette” a type of sandwich served with frites inside. I was rather nervous about this set-up for someone in our EMEA leadership. However, he’s face turned into one big smile as he said that this was “the best birthday dinner ever, that he’s family would never have served to him”.

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