Healthcare: Roche shakes up speciality care roster

Pharma giant Roche has completed an overhaul of the agency roster for its speciality care business ahead of a raft of new product launches.

Following a pitch process involving 12 shortlisted agencies, the Swiss company has selected nine to become part of a preferred partners list to work across the firm's speciality care portfolio.

As well as incumbents Reynolds Mackenzie and Virgo Health, Roche has brought in Chandler Chicco, Porter Novelli, 90Ten Healthcare, Galliard, Tonic Life Communications, Litmus and Open Health.

Roche's speciality care products include treatments for rheumatology, hepatitis C and Alzheimer's.

The firm has a number of treatments undergoing clinical trials for conditions including schizophrenia and asthma that could be available in the near future.

Roche's head of PR Greg Page said the review was part of the company's preparations for moving into new business areas as well as allowing for better partnerships with agencies.

The company will distribute PR business across its preferred partners list that will be effective for at least three years, meaning there will be no pitches to promote products from the speciality care division until at least 2014.

'With the preferred partners list we do get better value for money as a company but it also allows our agencies to become more ingrained in their work with Roche,' said Page.

According to Page, Roche was looking for agencies that could demonstrate expertise in PR and medical education.

Earlier this year, Roche carried out a similar process for its cancer care portfolio.

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