NEW YORK: DeVries PR has won three new healthcare accounts,
developing programs for Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline and
Pfizer. Together, the accounts are worth between dollars 4 million and
dollars 5 million in fees.
The news comes as a reward for the work that the firm has carried out to
build its healthcare division, adding new staff as well as new
For Bristol-Myers, DeVries will be working on Glucophage XR and
Glucovance, which treat type 2 diabetes. Glaxo has retained the agency
to work on Imitrex, a migraine medication. The firm previously worked
with Glaxo on media relations for the launch of Relanza, which treats
'There are two things we are doing with these clients,' said Madeline de
Vries, the firm's CEO. 'One is making sure that, whether for drugs or a
disease, we can speak about it to the media in scientific terms. The
second thing is taking all of that and turning it into creative ways to
talk to the consumer media.'
De Vries said targeting consumers is one of the most important
priorities in healthcare PR today. 'It seems to be what the healthcare
companies want,' she said.
She also said that healthcare companies are looking for effective ways
of reaching women, a constituency that is growing more and more
important to the industry.
Pfizer has retained DeVries to work on external affairs programs for at
least two brands. The agency declined to say which brands will initially
be included, but said the work will primarily involve developing
relationships with special interest groups on both the consumer and
'This is the type of situation where you can forge new ground and
communicate directly with a large universe of targeted people,' de Vries
DeVries will also be developing a series of career guides for Pfizer as
part of its academic outreach, providing advice on those entering
nursing, pharmacy and doctoring.
'We are writing the guides for Pfizer, and interviewing people in these
careers,' she explained. The guides will be distributed through special
events and targeted mailings.
DeVries has recently been beefing up its healthcare team. The firm has
just hired Andrea Johnson, formerly a VP with Bayer Diagnostics, as
SVP/division director for the practice.