Merck hires Marina Maher for women's health

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ: Merck awarded Marina Maher Communications and Axon Communications its women's health business, following a competitive review that coincides with a global RFI.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ: Merck awarded Marina Maher Communications and Axon Communications its women's health business, following a competitive review that coincides with a global RFI.

Steven Campanini, director of corporate media relations for Merck, confirmed that the agency was hired to handle the account.

TogoRun, a sister agency to Fleishman-Hillard, previously held the women's health portfolio, which includes contraceptives, NuvaRing and Implanon, and fertility treatments, Follistim AQ Cartridge and Ganirelix. Kathy Hyett, president and senior partner at TogoRun, confirmed that the agency had pitched for the business.

The account was awarded in mid-October. Diana Littman Paige, MD of Marina Maher, said that the agency was “thrilled” to work with Merck, although she declined to provide additional information about the review.

Axon Communications, a PR, medical education, and clinical research consulting firm, is partnering with Marina Maher on the account.

Campanini also confirmed that Merck had issued a procurement-led global RFI in early September that requested information from its global agencies. He noted that the RFI follows Merck's $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough in 2009. The women's health business was originally part of Schering-Plough's portfolio. Campanini said that the women's health business review and the global RFI were "separate" initiatives.

Sources told PRWeek that agencies were asked to submit materials for the global RFI by the end of September.

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