Three pharma marketing agencies merge into one organization

CHICAGO: The three major regional pharmaceutical marketing and communications associations have agreed to consolidate, forming a single national organization called the Healthcare Communication & Marketing Association (HCMA).

CHICAGO: The three major regional pharmaceutical marketing and communications associations have agreed to consolidate, forming a single national organization called the Healthcare Communication & Marketing Association (HCMA).

The deal between the Medical Marketing Association (MMA), the Midwest Healthcare Marketing Association (MHMA), and the Healthcare Marketing and Communications Council (HMC) will be announced on June 7 at the MMA annual meeting in San Francisco.

"It became obvious we were duplicating efforts and we felt it was probably time [to] get together and form a single organization," said Karen York, president of MMA and chairperson of the new organization. "We wanted to create an organization that would take our members from an internship during their university years, right through board training for our senior members."

The HMCA will serve nearly 2,000 members across the country, professionals who market to or educate healthcare providers, consumers, and other key groups on the benefits of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics.

A group to handle the transition has been formed, made up of three members from each association. They will fine tune the organizational structure and offerings over the next six months. Beginning on January 1, 2008, the new HMCA headquarters will be located in Philadelphia.

HCMA will offer a wide range of education opportunities and has already partnered with business schools including The Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, and The Wharton School of Business at Penn.

"There's a lot of work still to be done, but we feel that the new organization will be better able to serve our members," said Marty Cearnal, president of HMC. "The way people get their information has obviously changed significantly and this move will reflect those changes."

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