Novartis Hands $25 Million Drug Account to Deutsch

Shop to Work on Multiplatform Strategy for Alzheimer's Treatment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Novartis is awarding more work to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, which won the $25 million marketing account for the pharmaceutical giant's new Exelon patch following a review.

The Exelon patch -- which recently won U.S. approval to help treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease patients -- is the first skin patch for the treatment of the disease. Deutsch will develop a multiplatform marketing-communications program for the product, including strategy, creative, customer relationship and direct marketing.

Other contenders
According to executives familiar with the matter, Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group, MDC-backed Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather were among the other agencies vying for the business.

Representatives for the agencies could not be immediately reached.

A Novartis spokeswoman confirmed Deutsch's appointment to the account.

Deutsch is a Novartis roster agency. It was tapped earlier this year for advertising duties for an over-the-counter version of the heartburn medication Prevacid, and it has done creative and online work for the cardiovascular drug Tekturna since 2002.

WPP's MindShare will handle media-planning and -buying for the Exelon account.