WASHINGTON: Bristol-Myers Squibb has hired Jones Public Affairs to support its US oncology advocacy business.
The contract compliments the oncology advocacy work that the firm was already doing for Bristol-Myers Squibb in the European Union, said agency founder Carrie Jones. As part of the new agreement, her firm is helping the biopharmaceutical company connect with nonprofit and professional organizations to understand the needs of the cancer patient community.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has products that target certain forms of leukemia, as well as breast cancer and melanoma.
The contract could last for up to three years. Makovsky + Company previously performed much of the US advocacy work. Gil Bashe, EVP of health at Makovsky, said his agency will continue to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb in some capacity, but declined to comment further.
Jones Public Affairs has supported Bristol-Myers Squibb's European oncology advocacy efforts for the past five years. In that region, much of its outreach has focused on access to services and providers. However, its work will differ in the US, which has a central regulatory system.
“In the US, patients are becoming advocates in their treatment,” Jones explained. “The challenge will be helping BMS align with patients' growing needs.”
A representative from Bristol-Myers Squibb did not respond to a request for comment.
In August, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine renewed its agreement with Jones Public Affairs for another year.