Interlink forms network med ed unit; Erbitux heads client list

At the urging of major client Bristol-Myers Squibb, Interlink Healthcare Communications has formed a stand-alone entity to execute promotional physician education programs. The spin-off, called IneXel, will be headed by Steve Palmisano, managing director. Interpublic Group’s Lowe Healthcare Worlwide, Interlink's network, has been without an independent med ed unit since Proteus Scientific closed last year following the shuttering of the Lowe Bozell McAdams division. Once Proteus dissolved, each of the three remaining divisions was left to handle education internally. The non-accredited ineXel takes its client roster from Interlink, including hypertension drug Avapro/Avalide and cancer drug Erbitux, both from BMS, plus an unnamed antidepressant. BMS, which maintains strict separation between promotional and accredited CME providers, stipulated that as a requirement. The BMS assignments include a wide range of promotional education, including Web sites, manuscripts, posters and advisory meetings, Interlink said. Advertising and promotional assignment work on those brands remains with Interlink. IneXel will handle certified CME activities, too, but only as a joint sponsor with accredited providers. Interlink has shifted six of its medical people over to IneXel and plans to hire six more. Positions yet to be named are head of education and head of medical affairs.
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