Purple@Epsilon taps healthcare talent

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Purple@Epsilon has created a new position — SVP, general manager — in order to tap the health expertise of Andrew Bast, who joins the company from Saatch & Saatchi Healthcare Communications.

Bast, who started at Epsilon in mid-March, is expected to help the agency grow its footprint in the pharma space. His main focus will be business development and the creation of integrated strategies for healthcare and pharma clients. He will report directly to David McRae, president of Purple@Epsilon.

“We created this role specifically for Andrew,” McRae said. “It's not new to Purple in that we have other people filling similar roles, but as far as his primary focus being pharma, it is new for us.

“He's perfect for this position because he's been in the pharma space for some time as a pretty strategic senior person,” McRae continued.

“He brings pharma agency experience and couples it with everything else Purple has to offer, which is analytics, technology and database on one side, and traditional agency capabilities. Before (at Saatchi), he did not work with all those components at his disposal — no internal database capabilities, no strong internal analytics,” so he now will be able to leverage those at Epsilon, he said.

Bast has worked on such marquee healthcare brands as Nexium, Prilosec and Enbrel. Before Saatchi and Saatchi, Bast worked for an outsourcing firm where he spearheaded efforts to create a prescription drug co-payment initiative for the Ontario Ministry of Health and a national student loan centralization program. 

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