STAT Plus: PhRMA’s top communicator, a fierce defender of the industry, leaves for ExxonMobil

The top spokesperson for the drug industry’s main lobbying group in Washington is taking a job at the oil giant ExxonMobil, STAT has confirmed.

Robert Zirkelbach, who most recently served as executive vice president of public affairs at PhRMA, has been the organization’s top communicator since 2016. Zirkelbach has developed a reputation as a fierce defender of industry, oftentimes publicly sparring with drug pricing activists and rival industry groups in person and on Twitter, but he has also played a central role in the organization’s efforts to rebrand itself as a voice for scientists toiling in labs.

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