Wyeth uses Ruder Finn for launch

Pharma firm Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has hired its first PR support for the planned launch of a new palliative care treatment next year.

Healthcare specialist Ruder Finn has been appointed to the 12-month account following a competitive pitch against three undisclosed agencies. The as-yet unnamed product has been submitted for lic­ence for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in pat-ients receiving palliative care.

Ruder Finn has been tasked with driving a strategic comms programme to pave the way for the product’s launch in the UK, which is expected at the end of 2008. The agency will handle pre-licence and launch comms activities.

The Ruder Finn team will be headed up by associate director Jaimie Brown. The acc­ount will be staffed by a team of five including senior acc­ount manager Anthonia Aboyeji, who joined the agency from Burson-Marsteller last month. The team will report into the group product manager, who is yet to be appointed.

‘This is a new therapy area for Wyeth,’ said Brown. ‘It currently has no expertise in this area. We are working on identifying the key audiences we need to be targeting. We will also be driving disease awareness.’

The appointment follows another Wyeth account win for Ruder Finn announced last week (PRWeek, 30 Nov­ember). The agency has been charged to drive communications around the pharma firm’s rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis treatment Enbrel. Wyeth grabbed the business from Ketchum, which had previously held the account for two years.

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