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Corbyn's failed leadership challenger Owen Smith returns to career in big pharma

FORMER MP and failed challenger for the Labour leadership Owen Smith has returned to working for a big pharma firm, according to an update on his LinkedIn profile.

Mr Smith, who was instrumental in launching a failed coup against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in 2016, has been appointed as executive director of market access and external affairs for drugs firm Bristol Myers Squibb.

Mr Smith’s profile on the popular employment networking site also lists his bid for the Labour leadership as part of his political past.

Mr Corbyn took 62 per cent of the vote against Mr Smith and remained leader for four more years.

Before being elected to Parliament in 2010 to represent Pontypridd, Mr Smith was a lobbyist and director for pharma giant Pfizer before moving on to become a director at scandal-hit drugs firm Amgen.

While at Pfizer he oversaw a controversial deal in which the firm appointed Alliance-Unichem as its sole distributor in Britain — bypassing wholesalers in a “direct-to-pharmacy” deal that removed opportunities for cost-cutting competition.

Mr Smith also argued for the interests of big pharma while an MP. In a parliamentary debate in 2010 he warned that the government must be “careful” about advocating for certain generic drugs, which are used to save the NHS money.

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