INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Preterm labor test PR now aiming at moms, notMDs

COLUMBUS, OH: Pregnant women who are at risk of early child

delivery are being targeted in a campaign to make premature labor tests

more widely adopted by the medical community.



Ross Products, a division of Abbot Laboratories, has joined with Adeza,

a biomedical corporation. They've hired RMD Associates to handle the

public relations for Fetal Fibronectin (FFN), an FDA-approved diagnostic

test that assesses the risk of preterm delivery.



Preterm delivery happens in 11% of births in the United States. Only 4%

of the women who give birth early know that it is going to happen.



Preterm labor results in 85% of all perinatal complications and

deaths.



Children who are born too early may suffer complications resulting from

their lungs not being fully formed, and may have other organs that

aren't fully developed.



The test can pinpoint whether a woman is going to go into labor within a

14-day period. The test is given when women display signs of labor, such

as contractions.



According to Vince McMorrow, director of RMD, the test is 99%

accurate.



Usually, in cases of early delivery, the OB/GYN issues bed rest and drug

therapy as solutions to early labor. Results for an FFN test can be

received within hours.



RMD was given the task of handling the public relations for FFN during

the middle of December, and will handle all communications for the

product.



In the past, Ross and Adeza have worked to directly influence OB/GYNs

and nurse-midwives. This represents the first time that the product will

be directly targeted toward patients.



"In the past, we tried to approach doctors, but they are usually so

entrenched and set in their ways that there have been difficulties,"

said McMorrow.



"Now we've decided to go a different route and face the unique challenge

of getting patients to ask for the test."



While the account size was not disclosed, RMD was given enough money to

handle PR initiatives for six months.



"We want to make FFN the source for preterm labor, and get to the point

where editors are calling us for information," said McMorrow.



RMD has already generated stories in Pregnancy magazine and American

Baby. The group also interviewed with Self magazine.



In addition, the agency has established www.ffntest.com, a site where

mothers can find information about preterm labor.



RMD has its eyes set on breaking into the day-time television market

with programs that have high female demographics, such as Good Morning

America and Oprah.



"Ideally, what we would like to do is a healthy-pregnancy show with an

audience composed of women who are all pregnant," McMorrow said. "We

would work with other sponsors who have pregnancy products to come up

with an ideal healthy-pregnancy program."



RMD plans to ramp up its education plans in the spring. The agency is

working with the Ross brand manager on various initiatives.



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