Industry Briefs June 2014

Roska Healthcare Advertising Becomes PulseCX

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PulseCX is officially the new name and brand identity of Roska Healthcare Advertising, an agency with 33 years experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. The new name is meant to stress the company’s focus on customer experience (the CX in PulseCX). CEO Jay Bolling says that while advertising and promotion will remain a part of what the agency does, an increased focus is now put on helping clients understand the entire customer journey, and then finding the best opportunities for customer engagement and support through “relevant and authentic experiences.”

The new name is accompanied by a new logo, website (www.PulseCx.com) and Twitter handle (@PulseCX). Additionally, to help craft impactful customer experiences, PulseCX is now offering three new products: Strategy 360, Brand 360 and Experience 360. Check the website for more information on these products.

AstraZeneca Declines Pfizer’s Final $117 Billion Offer

British-based drug maker AstraZeneca recently rejected Pfizer Inc.’s final $117 billion takeover offer. According to Bloomberg, with this deal, Pfizer would have gained a lower tax rate, added new cancer drugs to its pipeline and gained cost reductions from overlapping operations, making it the world’s largest drug maker. Neil Woodford, who manages funds that hold AstraZeneca stock, suggested that the drug maker would earn better returns for shareholders by staying independent.

Shareholders also supported AstraZeneca’s independent stance. Dominic Ross, Chief Investment Officer of Fidelity, stated the drug maker did the right thing and said in a statement,“I don’t think that Pfizer was a suitable partner.”

Bayer Buys Merck’s Consumer Care Business

Germany’s Bayer AG, the inventors and makers of aspirin and Bepanthen skin care products, agreed to buy Merck’s consumer care business for $14.2 billion. With this purchase, Bayer adds allergy medication Claritin and Coppertone sunblock to its portfolio. This deal makes Bayer AG the second largest OTC drug maker.

Largest Real-Time Healthcare Database Launched

Practice Fusion, the nation’s largest physician-patient community, recently launched Insight, the largest real-time healthcare database. Insight allows physicians, researchers and analysts to access more than 81 million patient records. Ryan Howard, founder and CEO of Practice Fusion, explains, “Insight unleashes de-identified health data from tens of millions of real patients and more than 2,000 drug therapies in real time—at no cost.”

Obstacles End Publicis/Omnicom Merger

After coming up against managerial and financial obstacles, advertising giants Omnicom Group, Inc., and Publicis Groupe SA, mutually called off an anticipated $35 billion merger, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. The stage had been set for the “merger of equals” last July, with the initial idea that the new entity, to be named the Publicis Omnicom Group, would become the world’s largest advertising, marketing services, digital and communications group.

Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said in a statement, “The teams at Publicis Groupe worked diligently to complete the merger, but, in view of the obstacles encountered, the execution risk continued to increase.” Prolonging the situation, he explained, could have diverted the group’s management from its pre-eminent goal—to best serve clients. The proposed merger was never one of necessity but opportunity, he noted, adding, “Our paths diverge with mutual respect.”

ACETO Launches Generic Version of Pfizer’s Diflucan

Through its generic subsidiary, Rising Pharmaceuticals, ACETO, a global leader in the marketing, sale and distribution of products for Human Health, Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Performance Chemicals, launched fluconazole tablets, USP, an FDA-approved generic version of Pfizer Inc.’s Diflucan in 50, 100 and 200mg strengths. The drug is indicated for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis, oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis and cryptococcal meningitis.

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