AstraZeneca's Joe Shields to launch Health Accelerators with Think Patients

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AstraZeneca executive Joe Shields is partnering with Think Patients CEO Joe Meadows to launch Health Accelerators, a B2B marketing services agency supporting suppliers to life sciences companies, at the start of June.


Shields will serve as cofounder and president of the firm, which will be a subsidiary of Think Patients.


“We see a niche in the supplier community for high-quality, precision marketing services,” said Shields. “What we're trying to do is provide marketing expertise and understanding of the way pharmaceutical companies work, particularly on the commercial side.”


Shields noted that suppliers generally have smaller budgets than pharma companies, resulting in a less robust marketing presence. He sees that disparity as an opportunity for Health Accelerators to provide marketing services to an underserved segment.


“The goal is to elevate the quality of their marketing and communications,” Shields explained. “These companies are really good at providing advice to pharma, and sometimes they run out of time and money to do their own marketing.”


Shields is planning to be a hands-on executive, especially in the shop's first year, once he steps into the role on June 1. He said he is planning to manage aspects of the business including strategy, planning, and creative.


“As you climb the ranks, you kind of lose touch with the creative process,” said Shields. “This is a great way to bookend my career to be very creative on both ends,” said Shields.


Shields is serving as senior director of global strategy and innovation at AstraZeneca until the end of this month. He's also served as the company's global director of digital strategy and digital marketing leader. Previously, he held marketing and innovation roles at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.


Shields was also named one of MM&M's Top 40 Healthcare Transformers in 2015.


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