Healthcare: Pope Woodhead regains Abilify UK account

Bristol-Myers Squibb (B-MS) and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals are gearing up for a fresh UK PR campaign to promote schizophrenia treatment Abilify. They have rehired PR agency Pope Woodhead to handle medical and consumer media relations for the brand.

Pope Woodhead saw off PR agency giants Burson-Marsteller (B-M) and Weber Shandwick (WS), plus healthcare boutique The Workhouse, in a four-way pitch.

The agency was first drafted in to promote Abilify, which launched in Europe last June, three years ago.

But it was forced to repitch as part of B-MS's 'standard internal evaluation procedure', according to B-MS corporate affairs manager Caroline Almeida.

Almeida said a more 'creative' approach to Abilify's UK PR was on the cards but declined to disclose details. Cambridgeshire-based Pope Woodhead has put a five-strong team on the account.

4D Communications continues to handle UK med ed for Abilify while B-M handles global med ed for the product.

Pope Woodhead reports to both Almeida and Otsuka comms manager Melanie Rochford.

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