Top 100 Agencies 2015: MediMedia Managed Markets

Coming out ahead after an acquisition

The assembled package for Assure for Otsuka Pharmaceuticals
The assembled package for Assure for Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

MediMedia Managed Markets ended 2014 not just thinking about holiday presents but actually becoming a present itself. The Yardley, PA–based agency was acquired by Ireland-based ICON, a research firm, in December. The deal closed in the first quarter of 2015. 

ICON paid $120 million for MediMedia Pharma, which includes MediMedia Managed Markets and sister agency Complete Healthcare Communications. The agencies had been owned by MediMedia USA—which, in turn, is backed by a private equity firm, Vestar Capital Partners.

“We're now part of a very big organization that has so much more to offer,” says Lee Termini, presi­dent of MediMedia Managed Care. The agency will continue to function as a unit within ICON, meaning little should change in terms of how it works with clients, Termini promises. “We really pride our­selves on the way we've run our business over the last five to 10 years, so we're going to take that proven method” and continue using it as part of ICON. 

That means focusing on strategic consulting with pharma and biotech clients. The agency saw 15% growth in revenues last year as it maintained staffing levels at roughly 120 people. Primary clients include Genentech, AbbVie, Shire, CSL Behring, Horizon, Sanofi-Regeneron, Amgen, MedImmune, AstraZeneca and Otsuka.

Termini notes that MediMedia Managed Markets usually begins its relationships in the role of strategic consultants around access and reimbursement issues. However, the agency also has creative design, copywriting, editorial and market research expertise on staff. Too, as with most other agencies, it has increasingly turned to the digital space to get clients' messages across to key target audiences.

“Our digital [work] is growing,” Termini says, noting that the agency has become a Veeva Software preferred developer. Veeva, a cloud-based software provider for pharma and biotech companies, works with such powerhouse names as Merck and Eli Lilly. As a preferred developer, then, MediMedia has staffers who create digital tools that sales reps can use with Veeva to show information about client products.

“Four years ago we outsourced all that,” Termini recalls. Having it in-house today reflects the growing appetite for digital.

Assessing the sea change that has swept over US healthcare in recent years, Termini says that “a lot of pharma clients have been scratching their heads and saying ‘where is this going and how is that going to impact how my products are managed on healthcare formularies?' ” What this means, he adds, is that introducing me-too products and trying to push them into the healthcare pipeline won't work in the current environment.

Rather, pharma marketing has to show product total value rather than just talk about price, Termini contends. “Pharma and biotech have to really develop a value proposition for their products. That's what we help them do,” he says.

MediMedia also runs its own publishing arm, which produces two peer-reviewed journals. P&T Community is aimed at pharmacy and therapeutics committee members, while Managed Care at decision makers. Each has about 60,000 subscribers. 

While clients can advertise in them, Termini says the magazines aren't mouthpieces for them, but rather authoritative journals on key industry issues. “The pubs are a source of knowledge—but more importantly, they offer a treasure trove of healthcare decision makers and thought leaders,” he explains. “Our relationships with the healthcare trendsetters set us apart from other agencies.”

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