Merck Santé picks De Facto for diabetes pill

Lyon/london: Merck Santé, the French subsidiary of Germany’s Merck KGaA, is preparing a major marcoms campaign across various continents for its type-2 diabetes product, Glucovance.

Lyon-based marketers oversaw a three-way pitch for the business, appointing London-based medical education agency De Facto Medica to handle med ed, PR, branding and advertising.

The contract is global, with a focus on launching the product in around 20 countries as disparate as Pakistan, Croatia, Egypt and Mexico.

The product is a fixed combination tablet for type-2 diabetes, which used to occur only in overweight adults aged over 40. But doctors are increasingly diagnosing it in younger people: in February, The Sunday Telegraph described an ‘explosion’ of type-2 diabetes in under-16s.

De Facto Medica is an arm of De Facto Communications and launched six months ago (PRWeek, 18 November 2005). The agency is part of Chime’s Bell Pottinger Group.

Ogilvy Healthworld and Adis International were the others believed to have been gunning for the business.

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