UK OTC Industry Association Elects Haleon’s Bas Vorsteveld As President
Haleon’s UK and Ireland general manager Bas Vorsteveld becomes PAGB president, replacing Perrigo's Neil Lister. Lister reflects on a turbulent four years chairing the UK industry association.
Haleon’s Bas Vorsteveld has been elected as the new president of the UK consumer healthcare industry association, the PAGB.
Vice-president and general manager of Haleon’s UK and Ireland business, Vorsteveld was elected by the PAGB board at its most recent meeting.
As president, Vorsteveld will chair PAGB board meetings and help to set strategic direction for the association in the years ahead.
Vorsteveld said he was “delighted” to be assuming the role. “This is a hugely exciting role for a great organisation at a crucial time for our sector,” he continued.
“I firmly believe that the UK OTC sector has a vital role to play in supporting people to manage their everyday health and wellbeing and look forward to playing my part in progressing PAGB’s message to self-care.”
PAGB CEO Michelle Riddalls welcomed Vorsteveld to the role of president, adding that he had already been actively involved with as an association board member.
“I have already seen from Vorsteveld’s time on our board that he combines great sector knowledge with drive, energy and genuine passion for what we do and we’re so excited to have him as our president,” Riddalls said.
“Vorsteveld’s input and guidance will be vital as our strategy evolves over the coming years as we respond to new challenges as they emerge and make the most of the opportunities ahead,” she added.
Vorsteveld replaces Neil Lister, who served as PAGB president since 2018 and is chief commercial officer CSCI and senior vice president at Perrigo plc.
As Vorsteveld noted, Lister has led the association through one of the most turbulent periods in the UK consumer healthcare sector’s history.
Nearer the beginning of Lister’s tenure, the PAGB negotiated on behalf of the sector’s interests as the UK exited the European Union.
At the start of 2021, PAGB was relieved to see a last-minute post-Brexit deal being struck, which enabled its members to continue to supply OTCs to the EU with limited disruption. (Also see "UK Consumer Health Industry ‘Relieved’ By Post-Brexit Deal" - HBW Insight, 6 Jan, 2021.)
As well as Brexit, for the last two years, PAGB has been helping UK industry navigate the unprecedented disruption of a global coronavirus pandemic.
With the help of the association, companies managed to keep the UK public supplied with OTC medicines while also encouraging consumers to self-care to avoid coronavirus infection. (Also see "How The UK Self-Care Industry Coped With COVID-19 And Brexit in 2020" - HBW Insight, 1 Feb, 2021.)
“Brexit, COVID-19 and political instability each on their own have amounted to a major test,” Lister told HBW Insight.
“To have successfully navigated all three of them during this time whilst providing expert guidance and analysis and well targeted lobbying and communications to support members is testament to the quality and dedication of PAGB as an organisation – and I am grateful to have seen them in action so closely though it all.”
Internally, PAGB during Lister’s time as president celebrated its 100th year since it was founded in 1919 as the Association of the Manufacturers of British Proprietaries. (Also see "PAGB Looks To The Future As It Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary " - HBW Insight, 19 Jun, 2019.)
The centenary, which centred on a glamorous gala event at London’s Science Museum, served as the “perfect opportunity to recognise the important work which PAGB has done over the past century in shaping the development of our sector in the UK, securing its reputation and ensuring rigorous standards in how we engage with consumers,” Lister commented.
Not long after, PAGB organised the pathbreaking five-day Digital Week event, which, with HBW Insight as media partner, saw fascinating discussions of e-commerce, real-world data and evidence (RWD, RWE), advertising and social media, apps and medical devices and self-care. (Also see "Five Must-Know Things About The UK’s Digital Self-Care Revolution" - HBW Insight, 26 Jul, 2021.)
PAGB’s highly successful Digital Week “clearly illustrated how the organisation is moving with the times and has found ways of heading into its second century as strong and relevant as ever,” Lister said.
“Looking back, I am struck by what an amazing sector it is we are all part of and just how much good the UK OTC medicines sector has done and continues to do for consumers,” Lister reflected.
“It is also clear to me that PAGB have a strong and committed team,” he continued. “A team that has played a crucial role in supporting our sector through recent challenging years.”
“With so much to look forward to at PAGB it feels sad in some ways to be moving on, but I am delighted to be handing over to Bas Vorsteveld as President. I have already seen the great dynamism and energy Bas displays in the board and am certain that he will prove a highly capable successor.”