British American Tobacco (BAT) has appointed Hutan Ashrafian as chief medical officer.
Ashrafian will be responsible for overall medical governance and ensuring robust medical processes and oversight are applied to all aspects of BAT’s clinical studies and post-market surveillance.
In a press note, BAT said it is committed to reducing the health impact of its business through offering a range of enjoyable and less risky products. According to the company, Ashrafian will play a key role in the ongoing development and expansion of BAT’s multi-category approach, which offers consumers a wide range of potentially lower risk alternatives to cigarettes including e-cigarettes, tobacco heated products and modern oral nicotine pouches.
Specifically, he will provide medical oversight to both BAT’s human research committee and product stewardship council. Ashrafian will also play an important role in helping to define and generate evidence that supports and substantiates the tobacco harm reduction potential of BAT’s new categories from a disease perspective.
“We are delighted to have Hutan join BAT and become a member of the R&D leadership team,” said David O’Reilly, BAT’s director of scientific research. “The chief medical officer has always been a critical role at BAT as we strive to ensure all of the studies we undertake are of the highest standards from a quality and integrity perspective. His appointment will provide even greater confidence in our products for the science community and ultimately, consumers. It also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering ‘A Better Tomorrow’ by ensuring the quality and efficacy of our new category products.”
Ashrafian is a senior clinician-scientist and surgeon. He has led large research and clinical teams, working at population and precision medicine levels, to achieve the highest quality real world evidence and translational healthcare. He has extensive experience in strategy and driving national and international health policy with cabinet-level politicians, civil servants, and heads of state.
Ashrafian qualified in medicine at University College London where he was also awarded an honors degree in immunology and cell pathology. His training in surgery also led to the award of the Arris & Gale lectureship at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He holds a PhD in computational physiology and metabolic surgery from Imperial College London and a health economics-focused MBA with distinction from Warwick Business School.