By David Woods (

With this the 26th issue of HOC, we are well overdue in featuring our energetic, globetrotting CEO of Rx Communications, Ruth Whittington.

I can say this with only a minor fear of being labeled a sycophant or worse, but Ruth is a model boss: knowledgeable, hard-working, and above all nurturing and empowering towards her employees.

A native New Zealander, Ruth graduated from Auckland University with a first class honors Masters degree in biochemistry and physiology. While doing her PhD she joined Adis, a major medical communications company, first as a medical writer, and then as publications manager for the journals Drugs, Pharmacoeconomics, CNS drugs, and Health Outcomes. She quickly developed close ties with the pharmaceutical industry clientele and moved into business development with Adis, writing strategic plans and developing innovative publication programmes.

In November 2000, Ruth founded Rx Communications. A consummate entrepreneur, she has overseen exponential growth in both staff and revenue for the company; she’s also a highly innovative thinker, having chosen, while most medical communications companies are located in metropolitan areas, to place Rx in a small market town in North Wales.

As she puts it: “We could be located anywhere as long as it has a good road to the airport and good broadband telecommunications.” The company numbers among its clients most of the major pharmaceutical firms… and has a global network of more than a hundred experienced freelance medical writers.

The Rx CEO says that her personal business philosophy is to deal with integrity and to bring love and passion to what you do; her best quality, she believes, is her ability to pick the right people. “I look for an openness to different ideas and a certain energy,” she says. But even though she takes a kindly and benevolent approach to her staff, she is a perfectionist; moreover, she loves a good argument so long as it’s dialectical and not diabolical.

Ruth has two young daughters, and says she wants to do more travel (are you serious, Ruth? You must have enough frequent flyer points to go to the moon); and to learn Welsh. Now there’s a worthy ambition: trust me, Mandarin is much easier.