Eric Hansen has joined the agency to head the division and is targeting new business in the pharma, biotech and related industries in his London-based role.
Hansen was formerly sales and marketing director in Doctor Direct’s health education division, which he left last year. He joined Doctor Direct from data firm IMS Health, where he worked for four years. Prior to IMS he was US brand manager for Novartis’s schizophrenia product Clozaril in New Jersey.
Hansen said: ‘K&R’s [previous healthcare] work has tended to be in medical equipment and NHS [arenas] and UK-centic.’
The division’s name draws from K&R’s membership of ECCO International, the PR network of which the agency is a founder member.
Hansen said ECCO Healthcare is aiming to offer both pan-European and global PR advice.
The agency’s experience at working with pharma companies’ clients directly – such as the Department of Health and the National Health Service, would be attractive to potential clients, he added.
He plans to recruit London account handlers as future client demand dictates.