Astra removes H&K from leading antacid account

Astra Pharmaceuticals, the UK’s second biggest pharmaceutical firm, has dropped Hill and Knowlton after three years of work on its market-leading antacid, Losec.

Astra Pharmaceuticals, the UK’s second biggest pharmaceutical firm,

has dropped Hill and Knowlton after three years of work on its

market-leading antacid, Losec.



The company is believed to be holding a pitch for work on the product,

used by thousands of people in the UK and millions worldwide.



Industry experts estimate the account in the UK alone to be worth more

than pounds 100,000.



Hill and Knowlton confirmed it had stopped working on the account.

Astra’s PR manager, Julia Cross, would only confirm that it was looking

for a consultancy to handle the Losec product.



Last year, Astra’s international arm hired Complete Pharma PR, now CPR

Worldwide, to devise an international communications programme for its

respiratory products, which treat asthma, rhinitis and chronic

bronchitis. They include Pulmicort and Entocort.



Astra also retains Shire Hall to promote its new male impotence

treatment - medicated urethral system for erection (Muse).



Astra is gearing up for a multi-million pound merger with pharmaceutical

giant Zeneca. If this is completed, it would create the third largest

pharmaceutical firm in the world in terms of sales, with a turnover of

pounds 5.1 million.



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