Novartis tasks PN with diabetes product launch

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has appointed Countrywide Porter Novelli to launch a new diabetes treatment, Starlix.

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has appointed Countrywide Porter

Novelli to launch a new diabetes treatment, Starlix.



The six-figure account was awarded following a four-way competitive

pitch.



The team is headed by Countrywide director Pippa Evans, who reports to

Paul Simpson, marketing manager for Starlix.



The campaign will target healthcare professionals, and pave the way for

the 2001-scheduled launch.



Starlix is an oral treatment for type-two diabetes, the most common form

of the disease, which usually affects adults over the age of 40, the

majority of whom are overweight.



Evans said: ’A number of new treatments for type two diabetes are

expected to receive regulatory approval over the coming year, making

this an increasingly competitive market place. This particular product

provides physicians with a novel approach to the management of this

condition, and as such affords a great PR opportunity.’



Diabetes UK says that 1.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes in

this country, with up to one million more unknowingly ill from the

disease.



Starlix is being hailed as a ’blockbuster’ for Novartis. At the time of

filing for marketing approval with the US Food and Drug Administration

and European Medicines Evaluation Agency in December last year, Novartis

said it was estimated that the number of people suffering type-two

diabetes would rise to 220 million by 2010 from a current 125 million.

This was largely as a result of better detection in people increasingly

leading a more sedentary lifestyle.



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