Tonic Life wins global account for Tamiflu

Roche is planning a fresh global PR drive for anti-viral drug Tamiflu, as the swine flu pandemic looks set to worsen.

Healthcare shop Tonic Life Communications has been awarded the global account for the anti-influenza treatment.

The agency will run the account from its London HQ. It replaces Ketchum, which held the account for two-and-a-half years. Cohn & Wolfe will continue to handle Tamiflu's UK PR activity.

Roche head of global comms for metabolism and virology Clare Evans said: 'Tamiflu is an extremely high-profile treatment and is vitally important to our society during this pandemic. Consequently, we felt the need to revisit our comms requirements.'

It is understood a significant amount of the work will be managing comms around the swine flu pandemic.

Global sales of Tamiflu totalled CHF 2bn (approximately £1.19bn) in the first nine months of 2009, an increase of 362 per cent from the same period last year.

Last week, there were an estimated 78,000 new cases of swine flu across the UK, up from 53,000 the week before, and the death toll stood at 137.

Tonic Life's appointment follows the Department of Health's hire of Consolidated PR to promote its swine flu vaccination programme (PRWeek, 30 October).

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