Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Physicians Interactive has acquired Merck & Co's Univadis in a move that the US-based company says makes it the world's largest online healthcare professional (HCP) network.
Both Univadis and Physicians Interactive are wholly-owned independent subsidiaries of the US pharma company, but their respective HCP networks have until now been run separately from each other.
Univadis will now operate as part of digital marketing firm Physicians Interactive, which earlier this year acquired the peer-to-peer physician network QuantiaMD and bought Tomorrow Networks in 2014.
Donato Tramuto, chairman and CEO of Physicians Interactive, said: “Adding Univadis to the Physicians Interactive brand underscores our mission to advance health engagement across the entire spectrum, as well as across the globe.
“There is a transformation underway in healthcare, one that requires a fresh, integrated approach grounded in proven digital strategies. With the expanded reach and rich medical content this acquisition offers, we are even better positioned to provide the end-to-end solutions our commercial partners need to deeply engage healthcare professionals - resulting in greater awareness and better health outcomes.”
Launched in 2001, Univadis has an active membership of more than three million HCPs in more than 90 countries, including the UK - where its website was relaunched in 2013 - and India, where it debuted last year.
Merck took a controlling stake in Physicians Interactive in 2013, having invested $17m in the company in 2012, but it operates independently from Merck's branded pharmaceutical and vaccine operations.
The major change that the acquisition will bring about its is it signals the scale of Physician Interactive's ambition to be a “global digital partner” for the life sciences industry by offering centrally-managed, multinational campaigns featuring localised content.
Countries that Physicians Interactive is active in include France, Spain, Italy, the UK and the US, but it plans to move into dozens more markets over the next three years.