Top 100 Agencies: Purohit Navigation

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Digital work for NapiNol
Digital work for NapiNol

Personalized medicine was the direction that Purohit Navigation president and CEO Ahnal Purohit, PhD, saw the industry going about six years ago—which is when she began bolstering the agency's specialized product and diagnostic expertise. Her foresight is paying off, as the agency continues on its steady, stable course of 10% to 15% annual growth.

“Our strategic thinking is really being recognized,” Purohit says. “Given where all of healthcare is going, strategic thinking will continue to be very important.”

The agency is increasingly winning strategic work with assignments involving both pure strategic consulting and strategy work combined with market research and digital. Janssen was among new clients that hired Purohit Navigation last year to help with pre-clinical strategy work for a new technology. The agency also won strategic and creative project work from Capital Education; strategic market research from Cutanea Life Sciences; and AOR status for PBN Pharma's NapiNol, an OTC diaper dermatitis ointment that doubles as a nipple balm for nursing mothers.

Purohit notes opportunity to engage in strategic portfolio work before promotional work even begins is increasing because many companies are facing increasing need to maximize and optimize their pipelines. The Janssen win is a good example.

Other 2012 wins included market research project work for Formedic, and project work for Agilent Technologies' services and support division. Eloquest Healthcare, a long-time client for which the agency has done market research, strategy, digital and creative work, awarded launch work on ReliaFit (catheter).

Internal changes at Ipsen claimed AOR work on Increlex (for growth failure in children) a few years ago, but project work on the drug was assigned last year.

Given the shift to specialty medicine, the agency really isn't doing much pure advertisement work any more.  “When your audience is a few thousand patients and 300 to 1,000 doctors, you don't do DTC or primary care campaigns,” Purohit says.

Work in digital channels is ever increasing, and Purohit says it's key to determine which tool is best for specific HCPs and to figure out how to best marry print and digital when appropriate. “We're getting more balanced in terms of what we're doing for our accounts, and that's a good thing,” she adds.

Staff size held steady at about 45. Purohit Navigation's senior bench is one of the most stable in the business, with no senior management changes last year.

Ongoing industry trends that Purohit sees include uncertainty around Obamacare, continued crossover among pharma and generic companies, and the increasing number of personalized medicines in pipelines.

“Some mega products will come out in a few years—and it will be good for the industry if a few more mega products are introduced,” she says. “Personalized medicine clients need agencies like ours that specialize and sub-specialize in therapeutic categories and have real strength in science and strategy.”
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