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