Pope Woodhead lands pre-launch PR for Aripiprazole

Pope Woodhead PR has been taken on to handle pre-launch PR for a anti-psychotic drug set to launch next year.

The agency has been taken on by pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals to work on the launch of Aripiprazole, one of the new generation of atypical drugs that control symptoms of schizophrenia with fewer side-effects for patients. The treatment is being developed jointly by the two producers.

The trend towards the use of atypical treatments is part of an effort to reduce NHS spending on schizophrenia care - currently £1bn annually, predominantly on in-patient treatment.

The account - won following a four-way pitch - is the first piece of business Pope Woodhead has picked up in the psychiatry field since its launch in May last year.

Pope Woodhead account director Emma Ward heads the agency team, overseen by business development director James Harper. They report jointly to BMS public affairs manager Tessa Lush and Otsuka communications manager Alison Ross.

The agency, which specialises in healthcare comms, works for clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Reckitt Benckiser.

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