Ogilvy Healthworld strengthens capabilities with Pharmax acquisition in Korea
21 August, 2007
Ogilvy Healthworld, the healthcare communications arm of Ogilvy Worldwide, today announced that it has agreed, subject to regulatory approvals, to acquire 70% of Pharmax Research & Consulting, Inc., a successful business based in Seoul, Korea providing communication and marketing support to the healthcare industry. Pharmax‘s client base includes most of the major multinational pharmaceutical companies to which it provides such services as strategic planning, consulting, market research, professional market promotion, direct to patient communications, and medical education services including Key Opinion Leader development and Continuing Medical Education programs.
Founder and CEO, Ms. Katherine Song will retain 30% ownership of the company. Ms Song would remain with the company as CEO, working with the current senior management team.
Graham Edwards, Asia Pacific President of Ogilvy Healthworld, commented, "Korea is unquestionably one of the fastest growing markets for our multinational pharmaceutical clients. This is primarily a result of the increase in importance of evidenced based medicine, following the government’s enforcement of the Separation of Dispensing and Prescribing Directive in 2000.
‘With Pharmax’ track record, leadership position and strong reputation in the healthcare space, Ogilvy Healthworld has a new competitive advantage that would cement its position as the pre-eminant and strongest healthcare network in Asia." In Korea, since the Separation of Dispensing and Prescribing Directive, prescription product share of market has increased rapidly, moving from 60% to an excess of 70%, in a market that now amounts to US$8.0 billion (the 10th largest globally) after posting double digit growth annually in the same time frame.
Ms. Katherine Song founded Pharmax after a successful career on the client side of the healthcare industry to fill a missing niche in the market – sound market research and consulting services. Ms. Song, notes, "Since I established the firm in 1997, Pharmax’ offering has developed in response to client demand for excellence in healthcare consulting. I can think of no better way to celebrate our 10th year anniversary than with this new milestone, of joining the Ogilvy family. We have already seen that Ogilvy’s 360 degree communications approach, as applied to the healthcare industry, can deepen and expand the work we do on behalf of our clients. This is a new chapter, not only between our companies, but for the industry as a whole in Korea. " Pharmax has been working with OgilvyOne on a patient support program in conjunction with a product launch in Korea.
Ogilvy Healthworld will appoint three directors to the Board of Pharmax: Mr. Graham Edwards, Diamond Ogilvy Group (DOG) President Jay Paik and DOG Chief Operating Officer Donald Shin. Pharmax will move into DOG’s offices so as to integrate quickly with Ogilvy’s operations, maximizing 360 delivery and exploitation of the healthcare opportunity for the whole business.
Miles Young, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, "360 degree Brand Stewardship is about providing clients effective, discipline and channel neutral communications strategy and solutions. To that end, the broadening of our capabilities via new talent, original investments or acquisitions is critical.
We recently announced our start-up by Ogilvy Healthworld of Fibre Ogilvy specializing in interactive, relationship marketing, and cause and social marketing. Now, Pharmax is the first of our planned acquisitions in the healthcare space and we look forward to more opportunities that make sense in the sector."
On a combined basis, the clients of Ogilvy and Pharmax include such healthcare industry heavyweights as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Sanofi-Aventis, and Boehringer-Ingelheim, among others.