Purdue Pharma hires new VP of public affairs, communications

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Purdue Pharma has hired Josephine Martin, former EVP of public affairs at PhRMA, as VP of corporate affairs and communications.

In this role, Martin is responsible for government relations, health policy, and corporate communications at the pharmaceutical company. She joined company Monday and reports to CEO Mark Timney. She replaces Raul Damas, who left Purdue in December to join Brunswick Group.

See also: Teva targets opioid abuse with the absurd

"I wanted to go to a company where I could make a difference," Martin said. "I believe in developing a strong narrative and story and positioning a company around that narrative. I'm excited to be part of the future of this company and to position them so they're viewed a little differently than they are now."

Purdue owns brands including OxyContin painkillers, Senokot laxatives, Betadine antiseptic, and Slow-Mag dietary supplement.

See also: Pacira, Trinity Health aim to address opioid use in surgeries

Previously, Martin was EVP of public affairs at PhRMA, the industry trade and lobbying group for pharmaceutical companies, for six years. During her time there, she helped launch the multi-year Go Boldly campaign for the group. Robert Zirkelbach, previously SVP of communications, is stepping into her role.

Martin has worked on both the agency and client side over her career, holding positions at Ketchum, Federation of American Hospitals, American Red Cross, National Cable Television Association, and Health Insurance Association of America. She began her career on Capitol Hill as a communications director and press secretary for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and for Senator John Chafee.

This story first appeared in PRWeek. 

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