Edelman Public Relations Worldwide has launched a European medical
education division and appointed Nigel Breakwell, previously a director
of Bell Pottinger Healthcare, to head it.
The division is known as BioScience Europe, and is based at Edelman’s
London offices. The move has been driven by the success of BioScience
Communications in the US, which has been running for five years and has
30 staff in three cities and annual fees of over pounds 3 million.
Medical education is the arm of PR which deals with informing healthcare
professionals. Areas it may cover include products under development and
raising awareness of medical conditions which are little understood by
the wider health care community.
BioScience Europe will undertake medical education work for
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. With its US sister-company
and Edelman’s seven-country European network, it can offer global
programmes, as well as developing its own clients. In the US, BioScience
has worked on clients’ presentations to the Food and Drug Administration
and it is possible that it will work on submissions to the National
Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK.
In the case of biotechnology companies, work may extend to corporate PR,
as they seek to raise their profile and develop investor relations.
The division currently employs three staff, but Breakwell says this is
expected to increase to five or six people by the end of the year.
Edelman is the largest independently-owned PR company in the UK, with
fees of almost pounds 9 million in 1998.