Pfizer puts key Lipitor account up for grabs

NEW YORK: Pfizer, the world's largest drugs firm, is reviewing the global PR account for Lipitor, its best-selling drug.

PRWeek understands that pitches are set to take place within the next few weeks in New York.

The review is certain to have those consultancies competing for the business licking their lips and fielding their finest personnel given the importance of the drug to Pfizer: the anti-cholestorol medicine has annual global sales of almost £7bn.

The most recent global comms support for Lipitor has come from WPP Health Success, the multi-agency entity created by the global marcoms group more than two-and-a-half years ago specifically to service Pfizer (PRWeek, 6 Feb 2004).

PRWeek understands that WPP Health Success - which mainly drew from staff at Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller, although other agencies were also involved - has effectively now ceased to exist.

However, there is no reason why WPP Health Success should not be revived if clients demand a similar approach to comms in the future.

Pfizer's US offices had not returned PRWeek's calls for comment at the time of going to press.

Only last month, the pharmaceutical firm handed the global account for its new Lipitor combination statin - torcetrapib/atorvastatin (T/A) - to Weber Shandwick after a four-way agency shootout (PRWeek, 15 September). WS would not comment on whether it is gunning for the principal Lipitor account now up for grabs.

Ketchum London continues to handle UK PR work for Lipitor.

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