Bring in the Middlemen

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Kim Ribbink

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Third-party consultants are an enduring part of the business landscape. These independent mediators can HELP MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLIENTS AND SUPPLIERS, creating a MORE EFFECTIVE AND LONG-LASTING PARTNERSHIP.
BY KIM RIBBINK

OUTSOURCING is a way of life for the pharmaceutical industry. From the early stages of a potential product’s life cycle, through launch, and throughout the years of patent protection, companies use outside sources to assist with research, development, launch preparation, advertising, marketing, public relations, medical education, epromotion, and the list goes on. At any time after launch, a pharmaceutical company may be working with several agen cies and marketing firms on a single product. With so many partners to deal with, it’s no wonder that there is some inconsistency in the communications between client and agency, that tensions and problems arise, and that relationships become strained.

Enter the third-party consultant, some times referred to by those in the industry as a type of marriage consultant or mediator, who often is brought in to make the relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the outside supplier as strong and longlasting as possible. Some companies provide this service through their procurement or marketing operations departments. Others may rely on an outside source.

QUOTE:
WHEN BRINGING IN A CONSULTANT, A COMPANY HAS TO HAVE THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER OCCURS
RICH LEVY

“One of the advantages that we have seen is a consultant can play the role of a confidant,” says Mike Thyen, manager of global procure ment for marketing at Eli Lilly & Co. “They can focus on exposing problems in a way that can get internal company people or agency people to open up on issues that would be tough for someone normally to do. A consultant can be very good at expanding, analyzing, and advising on the root cause of a problem.”

But casting the thirdparty consultant as mediator would be simplistic. Consultants can be brought in to improve processes and produc tivity, solve problems, manage projects, provide expertise and best practices, and offer guidance.

Larger pharmaceutical companies that have multiple brands ordinarily work with several companies to promote those brands. That can cause inconsistencies, not only in the market ing messages, but in agency/client dealings.

Add to that the difficulties that arise when mergers take place and two or more once sep arate entities evaluate the types of marketing messages they are communicating and how they plan to consolidate those messages.

“Much of the value we bring is to help pharmaceutical companies manage marketing communications resources in the most accountable, efficient, and productive way,” says Rod Hanlon, chairman of Wanamaker Associates.

An OUTSIDE Perspective
Consultants can bring objectivity and a fresh perspective that might be missing in the relationship between client and agency.

“A third party can provide a fresh set of eyes,” says Brad Patten, executive director of pharmaceutical sales and marketing at Ventiv Health. “When people have a good working relationship, there’s a level of familiarity that at times has the potential to become too com fortable and perhaps lead to less than objective decision making.”

That outside perspective can allow a con sultant to pinpoint a potential area of concern or opportunity and help the other parties work through any points of contention.

“The most important thing that I can do as a research consultant is to share insights and to offer analysis that not only identifies a prob lem, but opens doors to potential solutions,” says Joyce Rivas, director of research and brand planning at SFGT Advertising Inc.

Most consultants are adept at problem solving and project management and are able to devote their attention to specific projects. As outsiders to the pharma/agency relation ship, they may, at times, be better able to focus on problem solving around specific tasks and projects in the event an agency and client may have different approaches and opinions.

When undertaking a given assignment, thirdparty consultants should educate them selves on the nature of the agency/client rela tionship. Their main focus should be to help both parties reach amicable solutions.

“Consultants are not there necessarily to make friends or get caught up in political tur moil; they’re there to manage a project,” says Paul Allen, managing partner of life sciences at Clarkston Consulting.

HaoChau Tran, a partner at Front Line Strategic Consulting, says because a consultant’s mandate is to be strategic, he or she can identify opportunities and ultimately help position companies or divisions for future success.

“Because consultants provide objectivity and use multiple research tools to generate their recommendations, they can help agencies take a fresh look at their campaigns, bet ter target audiences, and refine the overall message,” she says.

QUOTE:
ANYTHING THAT A CONSULTANT CAN DO TO SUPPORT, DEVELOP, ENHANCE, AND HELP THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CLIENT AND THE AGENCY SHOULD TRANSLATE INTO A STRONGER OUTPUT AND THEREFORE A MUCH LONGER AGENCY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Kenneth Barry

QUOTE:
AGENCIES AND CONSULTANTS OFTEN ARE HESITANT TO FULLY EMBRACE ONE ANOTHER WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING SPECIFIC CAPABILITIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND QUALIFICATIONS. IT’S IMPORTANT TOHAVE CLEAR ROLES OUTLINED TO CREATE A STRONG WORKING RELATIONSHIP. Hao-Chau Tran

QUOTE:
OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITHOUR CLIENTS ARE SACROSANCT — THEY ARE CENTRAL TO OUR SUCCESS. SO ANY THIRD PARTY THAT JOINS THAT RELATIONSHIP HAS TO BE NEUTRAL AND IMPARTIAL AND HELPFUL TO BOTH SIDES. David Winig

QUOTE:
WE MIGHT HAVE A CONSULTANT COME IN TO DO A SIMPLE STANDARD ANNUAL AUDIT BECAUSE WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR PEOPLE TO DEDICATE TO THAT PROCESS. HOWEVER,WE DISCUSS THIS WITH OUR AGENCY, SO THEY DON’T FEEL AS THOUGH WE DROPPED A BOMB ON THEM. Mike Thyen

QUOTE:
THE INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, HAS BEEN PARED BACK TO THE POINT WHERE SOME IN HOUSE RESOURCES AREN’T FINANCIALLY VIABLE ANYMORE, THEREFORE CONSULTANTS BECOME A GOOD SOLUTION. Joyce Rivas

QUOTE:
THE ROLE OFTHE CONSULTANT IS EVER EVOLVING BECAUSEWE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT WE’RE BRINGINGTO OUR CLIENTS IS SOMETHING THAT THEY’RE WILLING TO SPEND MONEY ON, AND THAT IT IS A PROCESS THAT THEY DON’T HAVE INTERNAL RESOURCES TO DO THEMSELVES. Paul Alen

QUOTE:
MOST INDUSTRY CONSULTANTS HAVEADEEP ANDVERYBROADVIEWAND EXPERIENCEWITHINTHE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, ANDAS ARESULT THEY ARE ABLETOMANAGETHETURF ISSUES,THE POLITICAL ISSUES, AND SOMETIMESTHE PERSONAL ISSUES. Brad Patten

Best PRACTICES
Pharmaceutical companies often are organized into divisions that focus on specific brands or therapeutic categories or disease states. At times this siloed structure can mean that the bigger picture of how to align an over all communications message can get lost. The consultant, however, is usually working across a variety of not only companies but industries and is able to devise and implement some of the best practices across the board.

“Consultants can play a role in making the relationship process between the client and the agency work better because they bring a lot of thirdparty experiences to the table,” says Arthur Anderson, managing principal at Mor gan Anderson Consulting.

For pharma companies, that means having access to industry practices that will help their businesses excel.

“Consultants can help companies stay on the leading edge of best practices, help the industry stay on its toes — be it agencies or companies — and make sure that the greatest value from the relationship between the com pany and the agency is being realized,” Mr. Thyen says. “Consultants help us to engage in more thought-provoking discussions about next-generation best practices.”

John Cassimatis, VP responsible for FCG’s lifescience performance improvement practice, says, “in addition to bringing an inde pendent viewpoint, consultants can offer thought leadership on trends and industry best practices. Because they work with multiple clients and across industries they can bring real-life experiences regarding what works and doesn’t work. Finally, they can be change agents by bringing fresh ideas and experiences to clients that may often be skeptical and nervous about change.”

Kenneth Barry, executive director of global marketing communications at Pharmacia Corp., says a consultant’s broad perspective from working with many clients, agencies, and often industries, is hugely beneficial when addressing a range of issues.

“An individual who has that kind of expe rience has a breadth of understanding of issues and circumstances and the rhythm of what’s going on in the industry,” he says.

For pharmaceutical companies, acquiring the necessary skill set to bring the different pieces of the marketing puzzle together into a cohesive plan can be challenging. Ms. Tran cites an example of how consultants can bring cohesion to that marketing plan when one client used four different agencies to assess its market opportunity in the United States.

One agency focused on physician reaction to a product, a second conducted patient and thoughtleader interviews to assess what mes sages would resonate with both communities, a third developed a forecasting tool to project adoption curves and revenue estimates, while a fourth agency investigated the patient base and potential competition for those patients.

“Ultimately, Front Line was asked to aggregate all of the resources collected, refine the forecast models and assumptions, and quantify the opportunity under various suc cess scenarios,” Ms. Tran says. “We used the different forecast scenarios to map out alternative marketing scenarios for the client. These ranged from marketing themselves to copro motion to outlicensing. By leveraging a strategic consultant, the client’s team was able to synthesize the data very quickly and devel op a strategy for the business.

One area where consultants often offer bestpractice expertise is in information technology.

“Consultants offer a lot of depth around a particular system process or applica tion, and if the consultant is good and has worked with that application in the past, he or she can give some good guidance as to how to modify business processes to support the application,” says Gene Dorff, VP of strategic planning and ini tiatives at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems. “They also can advise as to the pitfalls because they’ve seen them — whether it’s a systems pitfall or a business process pitfall or a software product pitfall.”

The best practices or expertise a consultant provides can be particularly valuable to emerging pharmaceutical companies as they begin to prepare for launch of a product.

“We just created a complete launch marketing plan for an emerging pharmaceutical company in the dermatology area,” Mr. Patten says. “We put a program together to prepare the market for the brand, including, as an example, advocacy development, speaker bureau development, platform skills training, as well as content management for faculty.”

One area where companies and agencies need to exercise particular caution is with regard to industry regulations.

“Third-party consultants can be very useful and add value to both the marketing communications folks and the agency people in ensuring that what ever programs are being put in place are done so with close knowledge and understanding of those regulations,” Mr. Allen says. “A thirdparty consultant typically is able to get access to, or to learn best practices in the appropriate way to keep records. Pharma companies and agencies can take advantage of the knowledge base that a consultant comes in with to make sure that what they’re doing is the most efficient way and process and is appropriate in accordance with whatever regulations there are.”

Mr. Dorff says he has found consultants bring great value on current industry knowledge or industry practices, which is important given today’s business climate.

“The regulatory environment has certain requirements for the pharmaceutical industry,” he says. “Many of these rules and laws are dynamic, or they’re very complex to under stand. What consultants typically do is bring depth to that, and that depth is very important for a pharmaceutical supplier in determining the business processes to support certain regu latory or other business requirements.”

Additionally, because of their varied experience, consultants often can predict industry trends. According to one industry expert, a good consultant offers thought leadership, not only for what is going on in the industry at the moment, but also for what the key trends might be in three or five years. That might involve opening new marketplaces for a client.

CHART:
CONSULTANT’S role CONSULTING ARRANGEMENTS DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Transaction-oriented Relationship-oriented

Time and Materials or Fixed-Fee
Traditional fee structure; compensation is based on the amount of work to be performed,or price is set as a fixedfee for defined deliverables.

Performance based Arrangements
Similar to traditional time and materials arrangements except that compensation is tied in part to the achievement of performance objectives like project milestones.

Value-based/ Gainsharing Arrangements
Compensation is tied to the specific value realized by the company — such as an increase in profits or a decrease in operating cost — as a result of the particular project implemented.

Business Partnering Arrangements
Engagement in strategic partnership agreements with the specific objective of delivering value to both organizations over multiple years.

Equity Partners
Consultancy invests in a company in the form of cash or “sweat equity.”

Source: First Consulting Group

Selecting and MONITORING
Developing the relationship between a pharmaceutical company and its agency or agencies is paramount. Pharmaceutical com panies understand the value a consultant can bring, not only to the agency selection process, but also to monitoring the relationship and helping overcome areas of contention, such as compensation.

Today, many consultancies have experi enced, exagency staffers in place who can offer agency management expertise.

Mr. Barry says this expertise might be in the search and selection process, or on the contracting, compensation, and evaluation side.

“Because compensation is such a big issue with both clients and agencies, we’ve found consultants extremely valuable in helping us think through compensation patterns and helping us deal with a framework for compensation,” he says.

Furthermore, he says, consultants can often identify issues of concern before they even arise.

“In the rush of doing business we’re pell mell on trying to get work done and projects out,” he says. “A good thirdparty consultant offers a greater level of awareness and can iden tify that there might be an issue that ought to be addressed before it becomes a problem.”

Rich Levy, CEO of AdairGreene, believes consultants can provide a morethanfair start ing point when it comes to agency selection.

“We’ve all been in very long, onerous pitches in which the agency selection is a fore gone conclusion, but the pharma companies have to demonstrate that they’ve talked to a certain number of agencies,” Mr. Levy says. “If companies bring in a consultant, we believe that there’s probably a more even playing field.”

The downside, he says, is that consultants often have a fairly limited view of healthcare agencies.

“Consultants often get to know the top five or 10 largest agencies and constantly go to them,” Mr. Levy says. “They won’t necessarily take a look at the therapeutic category, or evaluate whether a small or mediumsize agency would be beneficial.”

David Winigrad, president of The Hal Lewis Group, says if the third parties can truly balance the business objectives of both the client and the agency in a fair and impartial way, they can be very valuable.

“But if they are employed by and work for a pharmaceutical company, I think consultants find themselves in a situation where it’s very difficult for them to be evenhanded; their agenda tends to be pharma’s agenda, and in that situation agencies can feel tremendous pressure to acquiesce to their demands,” Mr. Winigrad says.

Mr. Hanlon says in addition to providing management systems and tools to ensure accountable and efficient management of the agency/client dealings, third parties also con duct performance evaluations.

“This is where the two sides reflect how they are doing, how the client believes the agency is doing, and how the agency believes it is performing,” he says. “We look at where the gaps are and how we can solve problems and identify improvement opportunities in the relationship.”

Unfortunately, there is skepticism about how a consultant may impact the agency’s relationship with the client, and how process es and recommendations put in place by a consultant have a unidimensional focus toward the bottom line and not the larger issue of the partnership and quality of work.

“Where consultants can be problematic is if their mission is purely or principally economic, by that I mean that they are charged solely with reducing costs,” Mr. Winigrad says. “In those situations consultants tend to reduce what advertising agencies do to a com modity, and we become purely a cost calculation. Certainly, there is an economic component to the relationship, but that is not the only metric on which the relationship should be judged.”

BOX:
Early Consultation
CONSULTANTS ARE BROUGHT IN TO HELP THE PHARMA CLIENT NOT ONLY ON THE PROMOTIONAL SIDE, BUT ALSO EARLY IN THE PROCESS ON THE DRUG DEVELOPMENT SIDE.

With patent expirations, increased competition,and aheightened focus on earnings, companies are under pressure to develop new compounds. One of the major impedi ments is patient recruitment, a problem that causes costly delays in clinical research studies. Every day that a company’s drug is delayed in a study results in about $40,000 in direct costs and more than $1 million in market opportunity, according to Caroline May nard, consultant on the strategic services team at BBK Healthcare Inc. This means the industry must find ways to reduce delays and streamline the clinical trial process.

Ms. Maynard says where consultants can help the pharmaceutical industry is in providing value on what she refers to as the first dollar spent. By first dollar spent, she means involving a consultant from the start onwhat to do to make study enrollment a success, instead of leaving recruitment up to the sites, taking a wait-and-see approach, and involving consultants later on,which she defines as last dollar spent.

“Often clinicalproject managers find themselves in the situation of needing to find patients for a study, but they don’t necessarily know the best way to do that,” she says. “Consultants have been able to come in early in the process and assess the protocol, and give some feedback as to whether the protocol is realistic, or too burdensome for patients.”

Long before a research study begins,consultants also can helpa pharma company identify sites that are best suited to that particular study.

“Pharma companies often will choose sites based on their past performance or whether the investigator at the site is a thought leader,” she says. “But those aren’t necessarily indicative of how well sites will recruit. An outside consultant can come in and perform an independent, unbiased evaluation based on factors that are directly related to recruitment.”

A further challenge for companies lies in bringing together disparate groups of people, from internal staff, to CROs, the sites, outsourced labs, and others involved in the process.

“A consultant can come in and not only give a company feedback on how to set itself up internally to be successful, but also how to structure the study to be efficient and effective,” Ms. Maynard says. “Communications between the various groups, particularly on global studies, can be a huge challenge, and that’s not always something that’s considered. Consultants can help establish clear and timely communications channels among all parties involved.”

Timesaving measures can lead to substantial cost savings for the industry. A study in September 2002 from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development assessed what reductions in time and increases in success rates are needed to yield a given reduction in cost.For example, a $100 million reduction in total capi talized cost per approved drug could be achieved byeither a 19%decrease in all phase lengths or an increase in the clinical success rate from 21.5% to about 25.5%.

QUOTE:
CONSULTANTS CAN HELP PHARMA COMPANIES TO REALIZE THAT A CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDY DOES NOT FOLLOW A LINEAR PROCESS, BUT INSTEAD A DYNAMIC PROCESS THAT REQUIRES CONTINUAL EVALUATION AND MODIFICATION. CONSULTANTS CAN ADD A LOT OF VALUE ON THIS END. CAROLINE MAYNARD

Effective KNOWLEDGE Transfer 
Though pharma clients say the consultant can bring enormous value to the business, they stress it is important that consultants be willing to teach, and individuals within compa nies be willing to learn, some of those core competencies.

“There is a disadvantage if the client does n’t want to learn enough about the business because an informed client is going to be a better client for that consultant,” Mr. Barry says.

“The danger is that by relying on consul tants and arbitrators, companies fail to get to the root cause of why it is they need to bring in a consultant in the first place,” Mr. Thyen says. “Hopefully, the use of a consultant will highlight the specific expertise or capacity that is needed to deal with an issue. Manage ment can then make the decision to internally resource and develop the capability or contin ue to rely on external consultants, as needed.”

But pharmaceutical company executives note that the transfer of knowledge is not only in the client’s interest, but also the consultant’s. Consultants who return time and time again to a company say they aren’t rehashing the same message, but rather are offering new competencies.

“Consultants teach clients how to do things and then develop new ways to enhance the process,” Mr. Anderson says. “If a consultant isn’t continuously adding value, he probably won’t work for that client anymore.”

One of the ways consultants pass along knowledge is through training, often bringing all the disparate players into one program. Mr. Hanlon says Wanamaker has been conducting marketing training for one company for the past four or five years in which promotion managers and product managers are taken through all the elements of marketing expertise and marketing strategy.

“As part of that program, we used the client’s actual agencies to assist in the training,” Mr. Hanlon says. “We bring in the managed care agency, the branding agency, as well as the healthcare and consumer agencies. It is a multireach training program, which helps those involved know what resources are out there and how to interact with and manage those resources. It also helps to cement relationships with those participating in the train ing by giving them an opportunity to get to know one another better.”

QUOTE:
CONSULTANTS CAN ADD A LOT IN TERMS OF DEFINING BEST PRACTICE WORK PROCESSES AND HELPING CLIENTS MANAGE THE PROCESSES BETTER. ARTHUR ANDERSON

QUOTE:
THE OBVIOUS VALUE THAT CONSULTANTS BRING IS AN ALMOST IMMEDIATE INCREMENTAL SUPPORT FOR PROJECTS OR INITIATIVES. GENE DORFF

QUOTE:
BECAUSE WE WORK ACROSS NOT ONLY A WIDE VARIETY OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES BUT ALSO AWIDE VARIETY OF INDUSTRIES,WE BRING A KEY ELEMENT OF OBJECTIVITY. MANY COMPANIES TEND TO HAVE THEIR OWN CULTURE AND THEIR OWN WAY OF THINKING, AND AN OBJECTIVE VIEW THAT QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES THAT THINKING CAN BE VALUABLE. ROD HANLON

COST Analysis
One of the key roles of a consultant is to help a client find ways to cut costs.

“Pharma companies are realizing that some of the processes, activities, and systems that they need to support their organization can be developed, operated, and managed more efficiently and cost effectively by a third-party consultant than by their own employees,” Mr. Cassimatis says. “As pharma companies are looking to outsource certain `noncore’ process es and systems to become more streamlined and efficient, the consulting companies have responded by developing outsourcing service offerings.”

Some consultancies have established an incentive-based approach to client billing. According to some industry experts, there is a trend toward offering an incentive-based fee arrangement, whereby the consultant would cut the company’s costs by, for example, 35% and would get 5% to 10% of the amount realized.

One consultant says this approach is relatively straightforward in purchasing areas, because the consultant is squeezing out a little bit from each of the suppliers by condensing the supplier portfolio so there are fewer partners.

It is this squeezing, however, that has blemished the consultant image recently. The cost of hiring a consultant to negotiate fees and generate savings has to come from some where, and it often comes out of agency compensation.

“Over the past few years, clients have been dictating what they’re going to pay and they’re driving down the hourly rates,” Mr. Levy says. “Yet they still want seniorlevel team members working on their business.”

In these circumstances, consultants need to find a benefit for the agency as well as the client or they will succeed only in damaging the client/agency relationship.

That requires a consultant to make recommendations and work with the partners on a plan of action.

“We’ll work with an agency as well as a pharma company and put a plan of action together remaining as part of this triumvirate in executing that plan,” Mr. Patten says. “Beyond that, due to how we do business with our client partners, if they are successful we share in that success and we all win. When we don’t both achieve success we lose. Consul tants are only as successful as we can make our partners — both the agency and the pharma ceutical client.”

Mr. Thyen says cost is an issue all companies have to consider when bringing in a consultant.

“We do need to look at the fee versus what it would cost to realign our internal priorities to do an assignment, because it is expensive to pull outside parties in,” he says.

Mr. Dorff agrees that cost is a consideration, but says the way to ensure best value from the consulting relationship is to have clear goals up front.

“Having the goals specified up front and managed to the agreed timeline is critical,” Mr. Dorff says. “Projects that go on and on with 30-day and 60-day extensions are not good for the organization because manage ment starts to question why there are always extensions, and that’s not good for the consulting relationship.”

How much a consultant costs a company obviously depends on the scope of the assign ment. One consultant notes that projects can range from about $10,000 to prepare a work shop to a sevendigit figure to develop a highly customized, global solution for a pharmaceutical client.

Experts on this topic
PAUL ALLEN. Managing partner, life sciences, Clarkston Consulting, Durham, N.C.; Clarkston Consulting provides solutions for the life science, consumer products, and additional industries through a range of services, including regulatory validation, strategy, application implemen tation, and support.For more information, visit clarkstonconsulting.com.

ARTHUR ANDERSON. Managing principal, Morgan Anderson Consulting, NewYork; Morgan Anderson is a management consulting firm specializing in marketing communications and dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of a corporation’s marketing communications investment and its relationship with its agency. For more information, visit morgananderson.com.

KENNETH A.BARRY. Executive director, global marketing communications, Pharmacia Corp., Peapack,N.J.;Pharmacia is a toptier pharmaceutical company with operations in more than 60 countries. For more information, visit pharmacia.com.

JOHN CASSIMATIS. VP, life science performance improvement practice, First Consulting Group,Long Beach,Calif.; First Consulting Group provides consulting, technology, outsourcing, and applied research services for healthcare, pharmaceutical,and other lifescience organizations in North America, market for new medicines and treatments. For more information,visit bbkhealthcare.com.

GENE DORFF.VP, strategic planning and initiatives, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., Piscataway, N.J.;Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, a division of Johnson & Johnson, provides national, managed care, government, and large hospital customers with a single point of contact for products from the Johnson & Johnson domestic companies serving the pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic markets. For more information,visit jnj.com.

ROD HANLON. Chairman,Wanamaker Associates, Atlanta; Wanamaker Associates is an advertising management firm specializing in advertising relationships and the search for cost controls, efficiency,and productivity in advertising and the entire marketing communications function. For more information, visit wanamaker.net.

RICH LEVY.CEO, AdairGreene Healthcare Communications, Atlanta; AdairGreene is a full-service agency with clients from pharmaceutical and biotechnology to medical devices and diagnostics. For more information, visit aghealthcare.com.

CAROLINE MAYNARD. Consultant,strategic services team, BBK Healthcare Inc., Newton, Mass.; BBK Healthcare is a marketing consulting firm for the clinical research and development segment of the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries, helping to accelerate time to market for new medicines and treatments.  For more information, visit bbkhealthcare.com.

BRAD PATTEN. Executive director, pharma sales and marketing,Ventiv Health Inc., Somerset, N.J.;Ventiv Health provides sales and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical and lifescience industry. For more information,visit ventiv.com.

JOYCE RIVAS.Director of research and brand planning, SFGT Advertising Inc., Philadelphia; SFGT is a fullservice strategic communications agency. For more information, visit sfgt.com.

MIKE THYEN. Manager, global procurement for marketing,Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis; Lilly creates and delivers innovative medicines to treat depression, schizophrenia, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and many other diseases. For more information, visit lilly.com.

HAO CHAU TRAN.Partner, FrontLine Strategic Consulting Inc., San Mateo,Calif.; Front Line combines research and analysis with strategic consulting to address a range of issues for companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. For more information,visit frontlinesmc.com.

DAVID WINIGRAD. President,The Hal Lewis Group,Philadelphia; The Hal Lewis Group is a healthcare marketing communications agency. For more information, visit hlg.com. Europe, and Asia. For more information,visit fcg.com.

PharmaVoice welcomes comments about this article. Email us at feedback@pharmavoice.com.

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