Top 100 Agencies 2014: RevHealth

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Getting out of the "professional agency box" spurs major growth

Top 100 Agencies 2014: RevHealth
Top 100 Agencies 2014: RevHealth

RevHealth saw a nice mix of organic growth and wins from new clients drive revenue up 38% last year to $20.6 million.

The Morristown, NJ-based agency's engagements with newer clients, including Pacira, Ferring, AstraZeneca and Ranbaxy, have broadened and strengthened its capabilities to include patient education, clinical trial recruitment, and consumer relationship marketing.

“Some of our newer clients are asking us to execute broader tactics because they don't see us in a professional agency box,” says managing partner Bruce Epstein. “We've taken that experience and offered new services to current clients who started working with us just on professional promotion.”

Last year Pacira and Ferring extended invitations to pitch for professional-side AOR assignments, and RevHealth won both accounts. The Pacira win was Exparel (for post-surgical pain management). The Ferring win was for Euflexxa (for osteoarthritis knee pain).

Relationships expanded with existing clients Actavis, Genentech, Merck, Novartis and Ranbaxy. Actavis awarded professional and consumer AOR status for two oral contraceptives (Minastrin and Lo Loestrin FE). Novartis awarded professional AOR designation for two brands—Ilaris (multiple indications for autoinflammatory diseases) and Zortress (rejection prevention in kidney and liver transplant patients). The agency also won AOR status for medical education for Genentech's oncology treatment Erivedge.

Other new business included project-based medical education work on two Merck compounds—MK-8228 (CMV prophylaxis in transplant patients) and MK-3415A (clostridium difficile). Ranbaxy awarded project work on topical steroids.

Promotion stopped on four products—Actavis's contraceptive Ella, Merck's antibacterial drug Invanz, and Novartis's Myfortic (antirejection) and Arcapta (COPD). No accounts were lost.

The majority of all client work has moved to digital platforms. “We created 17 websites from scratch in a single month this year,” Epstein says.

RevHealth moved to a larger office last year, with room for about 120 staffers. Ten joined in 2013, bringing head count up to 80. There are 85 employees now, and Epstein is looking to hire several account managers and digital project managers, as well as a promotional copywriter. Founding partner George Courides retired in January 2013. Epstein and partners Bruce Medd and Brian Wheeler remain at the helm and aren't looking to name a new fourth partner.

Patent losses, such as Novartis's Myfortic, and a general reduction in the number of brands pharma companies are promoting are ongoing challenges.

“We continue to see pharma companies promoting fewer brands,” Epstein says. “We're also seeing reduced effectiveness of sales forces, and clients are responding by continuing to cut sales force size.”

This year the agency established a global partnership with UK-headquartered Creston Health, which includes PR, medical education, advertising and digital shops. “Creston Health adds a new dimension to our strengths,” Epstein says. “We're working on projects together now that we each previously won independently, and we're pitching multiple pieces of new global business together. Consumer advertising is the next area of growth for us, and we'll continue to add more clients in the OTC healthcare space.”

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