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Ruder Finn expands Southeast Asia Healthcare Sector with key hire Irene Yong to head Ruder Finn Healthcare Practice for Southeast Asia


Singapore. In alignment with the recent announcement of three senior hires for Ruder Finn's global healthcare practice, Ruder Finn Asia has engaged Irene Yong to head the healthcare practice for Southeast Asia. Irene, based in Singapore, will be in charge of growing and championing the region's healthcare practice in a range of areas including corporate, ethical and issues management.

In recent years, Ruder Finn Asia has seen the integration of technology in the healthcare sector, from improvement in medical technology to mobile apps that help to transform communication and engagement to the various stakeholders. This has resulted in the need for Ruder Finn to expand its healthcare practice in the region as more MNCs are setting up regional headquarters in Singapore. Medical technology has come a long way with the rapid growth and reach of the internet. With the fast development of biotech companies around the world, creators of healthcare apps are following close behind to fill in the needs of practitioners or consumers for healthcare monitoring.

Irene Yong, a PR practitioner with more than a decade of experience, brings with her not just her expertise as a specialist in the ethical healthcare sector but also a wide range of experiences including strategy development, integrated campaign planning, issues and crisis management, and public affairs across a broad range of industries. Her portfolio of international clients includes Sanofi, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Nycomed/Takeda, GSK, Abbott, MSD, Novartis and Leo Pharma. Irene also has a wealth of experience working with non-government organizations in various advocacy programs.

"The evolution of technology, the growth of mobile communications and easy data exchange are some issues that have changed the global landscape in recent years. In the highly regulated healthcare sector, pharmaceutical and healthcare related companies have to reassess how they relate to their stakeholders in a less than opaque world," Jean-Michel Dumont, Chairman of Ruder Finn Asia, said. "More than half of the world's population resides in Asia. The region offers great opportunities as well as challenges for healthcare companies. With more than two decades of experience in Asia, Ruder Finn can help these companies understand and navigate the regulatory maze in each Asian country, while protecting their corporate reputation".

Yu Poh Leng, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Ruder Finn Singapore, said the sector was seeing the convergence of technology and healthcare, and with it, the potential and opportunities.  "Currently, we are working with numerous pharmaceutical and related clients in corporate and ethical healthcare. We no longer operate in silos. Instead, we believe in integrating our team members' experience to help our clients transform their business in this new landscape," she said.

Irene Yong said the emerging markets in South East Asia region present a dynamic and challenging landscape where exciting growth opportunities lie.  "These markets are experiencing rapid economic and population growth leading to growing affluence and increased demand for healthcare sectors while public healthcare undergoes reformation to address the ever growing healthcare needs of the population.  All these presents exciting opportunities as we work alongside our clients in achieving their next business milestone," she said.

Ruder Finn has more than six decades of global experience and expertise in healthcare communication and close to two decades in Asia. The agency has built a strong reputation in the pharmaceutical industry with long term clients including Novartis, Elsevier, Astellas Pharma, AstraZeneca, BD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lundbeck, Mead Johnson, Sanofi, Pfizer and Roche. Ruder Finn has helped launch global initiatives on an Asian scale, as well as regional and national communications programs. In addition to maintaining close relationships with the traditional stakeholders in healthcare, Ruder Finn is active in developing and working with patient support and advocacy groups who constitute an emerging feature of the healthcare landscape in the Asia-Pacific region.