Aventis Pasteur Picks Roska Direct

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French pharmaceutical marketer Aventis Pasteur has named Roska Direct, Montgomeryville, PA, to handle direct-to-patient vaccination initiatives for HMOs.

There was no incumbent on the account, but this assignment to Roska signifies that Aventis Pasteur is looking to step up its direct-to-patient efforts for managed care companies.

"What they really expect us to put together is a program offering that allows them to get better leverage in managed care to be able to develop a patient-centric focus that they can implement through managed care," said Jay Bolling, executive vice president and director of client services at Roska.

Based in Lyons, France, Aventis Pasteur makes more than 1 billion doses of vaccines a year to immunize 400 million people worldwide. It is a division of Aventis SA, born out of a 1999 merger of Germany's Hoechst AG and France's Rhone-Poulenc.

In the United States, Aventis Pasteur is looking to reach out to managed care companies to make them aware of the risks of certain preventable diseases. The HMOs, in turn, will help make their members aware of the need to get vaccinated.

To this end, Roska will break a direct mail campaign for the pharmaceutical company next month. The mailers will tout the values of Aventis Pasteur's adult vaccines.

A full-service direct marketing agency, Roska posted billings of $40 million last year. It serves many pharmaceutical clients, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

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