Planting the seeds of a blockbuster


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When should a pharmaceutical company engage an advertising agency? According to Larry Iaquinto, president of Interlink Healthcare Communications of Lawrenceville, N.J., “As soon as possible.” His belief is that most drug companies get involved with promotional agencies during Phase III clinical trials, and regards  that as too late in the life cycle. “Communication needs to begin earlier, with education, medical content development, and evaluation of the scientific aspects of a compound, to shape the conversation with industry experts, regulatory authorities, and opinion leaders,” Mr. Iaquinto says.
His words carry some weight in the industry. Since its inception six years ago as a full-service companion to Integrated Communications, Interlink has been working with pharmaceutical companies in all stages of drug development — pre-launch, and post-launch. Mr. Iaquinto and the agency have been aiding companies with early compounds through a blend of in-house expertise in three disciplines: medical/scientific affairs, marketing, and creative — with emphasis on scientific…