Department of Health creates new chief commercial officer role

Pharmaceutical company executive Steve Oldfield set to take up posting in October

The Department of Health's Richmond House headquarters Credit: PA

By Jim Dunton

27 Jul 2017

The Department of Health is to get a chief commercial officer who will focus on getting better value for money from the government’s spending with pharmaceutical firms.

In a joint announcement with the Cabinet Office, DH said Steve Oldfield would take up the newly-created role from October.

Oldfield is a former UK and Ireland general manager for the pharmaceutical company Teva Group, and is currently chief operating officer of PGT Healthcare, a joint venture between Teva and Procter and Gamble.


DH said Oldfield’s “initial focus” in Whitehall would be the creation and development of a commercial strategy to underpin its negotiations with drug suppliers, particularly in relation to the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, through which £8bn a year of government funds is currently channelled.

Oldfield, pictured left, will report directly to DH permanent secretary Chris Wormald, and will be “the most senior commercial manager within the health family” the department said.

He will be employed centrally by the Government Commercial Function, and will also report functionally to government chief commercial officer Gareth Rhys Williams.

Wormald said DH and the NHS faced a number of commercial challenges, one of which was agreeing the next generation of the PPRS medicines pricing scheme.

But he added: “We see huge opportunities for better delivery for patients and better value for money for the taxpayers from improved commercial skills and experience.”

Rhys Williams said Oldfield would bring “deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry” to the new role.

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