PRI Healthcare Solutions’ management positioned the agency well for the digital deluge accelerated by COVID-19. In 2020, the company split into two divisions: a med-comms shop (PRI Health) and a purely digital creative agency (PRI Digital).
“The skills required to facilitate and execute strategic programs are vastly different than working with media agencies and AORs on the digital side for non-personal promotion,” notes GM Tammy Chernin.
The restructuring has “worked very successfully for us,” Chernin reports. To wit: Three years ago, digital accounted for 20% of billings, but that percentage rose to 60% in 2020. It hovered around that same mark in 2021 as industry accelerated the move to non-personal promotion. Overall, revenue grew to $18.9 million, up 3% from 2020’s take of $18.4 million.
PRI digital programs that have seen substantial uptake over the last few years include Patient Journey, designed to help clinicians identify appropriate patients for a treatment option. Then there’s the “Ask the Expert” series, in which KOLs explain the ins and outs of prior-authorization support and other access hurdles.
Asked how the two programs work in tandem, SVP, PRI Health Brian Layden responds, “Now that you have that patient in mind, how do you get them on treatment and get them access? In this paradigm of understanding what patients are right for a treatment and getting them paid for, it’s an especially compelling proposition.”
Clients that have availed themselves of the offerings include Merck (for blockbuster Keytruda, across multiple indications) and Novartis (for its MS portfolio). Most encouraging to Chernin are the recurring digital assignments: “When clients buy for one brand, we see referrals come for other brands.”
That says volumes about PRI’s ability to deliver media engagements. It does so by leveraging Haymarket Medical Network brands as well as the Haylo programmatic network, which allows the agency to disseminate content across endemic, non-endemic and social media. (Haymarket Media is the parent company of MM+M.)
Clients like what they’re seeing. When PRI stopped working on Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine portfolio in the wake of a vendor consolidation, castoffs from the French drugmaker handed PRI three new pieces of business: Indivior’s Sublocade for opioid addiction, Lucira Health’s CheckIt at-home COVID-19 test and vaccine maker Seqirus.
As its digital business has grown, PRI has bulked up its digital client services team. Five new project managers brought the number of full-timers to 94, from 89 the year prior.
So with pharma reps slowly returning to doctor’s offices and in-person medical congresses resuming in fits and starts, how will PRI’s service mix shift? The question elicits a bit of a chuckle from Chernin, who recalls moving all of PRI’s live product theaters and advisory boards into a 100% virtual package two years ago. On the whole, she says, it has resulted in more options for clinicians.
“Previously, live events were live events,” Chernin says. “They didn’t have any reach beyond that. So we’re tailoring more to individual preferences — and that’s a good outcome in this post-pandemic world.”
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Work from outside pharma you admire…
Nike’s Try New campaign is a welcome change to the expectation of perfection that runs rampant in society — and microcosmically in sports. As a father of three and an iPhone-toting human being, I understand the pressures that are placed on us and that we place on ourselves. Try New is a rallying cry for all those who have yet to begin their journey of athletic experience and enjoyment … though not necessarily excellence. — Layden
From the June 01, 2022 Issue of MM+M – Medical Marketing and Media