81qd Appoints EVP Susan Abedi to Commercial Solutions Team

The healthcare data analytics company names Susan Abedi Executive Vice President of Commercial Solutions so she may lead the development of robust, analytics-driven solutions tailored to clients’ specific market challenges and brand needs.

“The healthcare industry is as competitive as it is unpredictable, which has made analytics evolve from ‘valuable’ to ‘essential,’” says Bob Gabruk, Managing Director of 81qd, in a statement. “When timing is everything, there is no room for error. Susan’s proven track record in developing customer-centric solutions for biopharmaceutical companies defines the ambitious creative strategy of 81qd.”

Abedi brings more than 16 years of experience to 81qd, including that of her senior role at IQVIA where she led market optimization and access strategies. Among many other accomplishments, Abedi was named a 2016 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rising Star.

Financial Veteran Iain Mackay Joins GSK

The pharma giant appointed HSBC Group Finance Director, Iain Mackay, to the role of Chief Financial Officer, effective January 2019. He is expected to extend his track record in driving cost, cash, and capital allocation to deliver strategy while leading the company through its newly announced restructuring plans—especially the cost-cutting drive that is expected to save it more than $5 million per year by 2021.

CEO Emma Walmsley said in a statement that Mackay has proven and outstanding leadership experience at “complex, regulated global organizations. These capabilities will be vital as we continue to implement our innovation, performance, and trust priorities for the benefit of patients and shareholders.”

Prior to HSBC, Mackay held financial leadership roles at General Electric, Schlumberger Dowell, and Price Waterhouse. He will be taking over the role from current GlaxoSmithKline CFO, Simon Dingemans, one of the many top executives to leave the company since Walmsley’s total company re-vamp began in 2016.

Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Brian Guy has been promoted from his position as SVP, Business Operations to Breckenridge Pharmaceutical’s President. Since 2012, Guy has been an integral part of the business development and operations of the U.S. pharma company most commonly known for its broad range of generic prescription products in many therapeutic categories.


The biotech company focused on obesity treatment hired former Walgreens Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Harry Leider, as well as Boehringer Ingelheim’s former Chief Executive, Paul Fonteyne. As Gelesis’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Leider will lead the overall medical strategy including medical affairs functions and programming with medical associations, patient advocacy groups, and other healthcare organizations. Fonteyne will bring commercial, marketing, and general management insights to the company’s Board of Directors.


CEO and President, John F. Milligan, PhD, will be stepping down from his 28-year career with Gilead by the end of the year. Dr. Milligan said in a statement, “It has been an honor to work at Gilead for my entire professional career and now that the company is on solid footing for the future, the Board and I have agreed it is a good time to turn the reins over to a new leader.”

Intouch Solutions

Wanda Cruz joins the pharma marketing agency as Senior Vice President of Marketing Intelligence. Cruz will draw upon 18 years of healthcare marketing experience to elevate Intouch’s offerings to drive revenue through new business opportunities while supporting organic growth efforts.


The German pharma giant hired Maria Rivas, MD as Senior Vice President, Head of Global Affairs. Dr. Rivas is expected to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization, as the launch of several new products is expected for next year. Dr. Rivas boasts years of senior medical leadership positions, including her time as Vice President and Head of Global Affairs at AbbVie.


After several recent ethics scandals, the pharma giant has appointed Dr. Klaus Moosmayer as Chief Ethics, Risk, and Compliance Officer. He will report to CEO Vas Narasimhan, MD, and become a member of the Executive Committee. He previously served as the Chief Compliance Officer of Siemens.

Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

Paula Huntzinger is taking over the role of Chief Talent Officer, having spent four years at Ogilvy as Director of HR and Talent Acquisition. She will now oversee direction and implementation of all U.S.-based talent initiatives, including talent attraction, retention, engagement, and remuneration. She will continue to lead both change management and culture-based efforts in support of the agency’s ongoing business initiatives.


Sanofi’s Eckhard Leifke, MD will join the Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company as Chief Medical Officer and VP of Clinical Development. His prime responsibilities will include overseeing medical affairs, pharmacovigilance, clinical science, and operations as he pushes the clinical aspects of Omeros’ MASP-2 antibody, OMS721, towards U.S. and international regulatory approval.

Prescient Healthcare Group

Dr. Paul Harney was appointed President, North America of the biopharmaceutical product and portfolio strategy firm. Harney has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, medical affairs, and business development in the healthcare industry, including his leadership roles at Deloitte Consulting, Quintiles, and IQVIA. He will be responsible for enhancing and delivering the company’s U.S. growth strategy while also ensuring high levels of client satisfaction.

Razorfish Health

The HCP agency tapped award-winning John Reid as SVP, Executive Creative Director. With his 20 years of experience, from major industry brands such as Biogen, Galderma, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and others, Reid will take over creative business responsibilities for several top pharma clients and help meet the needs of the rapidly expanding agency.


Industry veteran Mario Saltarelli, MD, PhD, is joining the Boston-based biotech as its Chief Medical Officer. While Dr. Saltarelli most recently served as SVP at Vertex Pharma, he also served in leadership roles at Shire, AbbVie, and Pfizer. He’s expected to advance the organization’s pipeline of novel therapies for autoimmune diseases.

Wize Pharma, Inc.

Dr. Penny Asbell, a leading expert on dry eye syndrome, joins the ophthalmic disorder-focused biotech company as a member of the Advisory Board. She will share her expertise as a principal investigator in countless clinical studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health’s National Eye Institute.


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