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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Centron: 2017

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017


1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
Telephone: 646-722-8900



Best Point of Care Campaign


Account wins    14
Active business clients    26

Brands by 2016 Sales
Brand product accounts held    39
$25 million or less    16
$25 million to $50 million    8
$50 million to $100 million    5
$100 million to $500 million    7
$500 million to $1 billion    1
$1 billion or more    2
Products yet to be approved/launched    5


Services Mix

Advertising    70%
Promotional medical education    20%
Public relations    10%


Client Roster

Bayer HealthCare
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Churchill Pharmaceuticals
Daiichi Sankyo
DBV Technologies
EMD Serono
Genomic Health
Jed Foundation
Leo Pharma
Merck KGaA
Mission Pharmacal
Repros Therapeutics
Sanofi and Regeneron
Senior Link



According to its leaders, winning the Manny for Agency of the Year, Category 3 in 2016 reinforced Centron’s commitment to multidisciplinary integration as the agency’s model for driving strategic excellence and delivering commercial results for clients. After a strong start in 2016 followed by a slight downturn in the latter half of the year, agency management also recognized the need to pause, reassess, and reaffirm everything from process to talent pool. Centron’s leaders say they strongly feel that a period of recalibration will re-energize the agency and position the team to best navigate the current flux in healthcare and take on what’s next.

The Year’s Accomplishments

While Centron’s successes in 2016 included a number of launches and new business wins, many gains for the agency were internally focused. According to Marcia McLaughlin, CEO of Centron,

“We were so excited to be recognized as Agency of Year and knew that we wanted to maintain that level of success as we moved forward. That meant we had to take a hard look at how we were working as an agency in order to refine and strengthen our ability to deliver the communication solutions our clients require today.”

Late in 2016, it became clear that the agency needed fresh thinking, which prompted a search for new leadership. In January 2017, Centron named industry leader Celine Vita president of its Advertising division. “With her global perspective, strategic acumen, and impeccable collaboration skills across disciplines and with clients, I am confident in Celine’s ability to lead our advertising business,” McLaughlin says.

The Centron team celebrated a number of new business wins in 2016. Churchill Pharmaceuticals named Centron advertising agency of record for Yonsa, an optimized agent for prostate cancer, and its SoluMatrix Fine Particle Technology, a technology designed to improve bioavailability of oral medications.

Centron was also awarded additional agency of record business from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Adding to its work for Nulojix, the Centron team is now partnering with the Optimized Brands team to create new communication platforms for Kenalog, Azactam, and Coumadin.
Centron Medical Education scored a number of assignments from existing and new clients. Franchise messaging work with the advanced breast cancer team in 2015 poised Centron Medical

Education for the opportunity to partner with Novartis Oncology on the global launch of ribociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor for HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer. The Medical Education team’s role with Novartis expanded to include work with an additional division. The group’s strategic work continues with Sanofi and Regeneron in support of dupilumab, with a focus on advisor engagements and life cycle management within moderate-to-severe asthma. In late 2016, Centron Medical Education supported scientific platform work with the EMD Serono/Merck KGaA Global Marketing teams for tepotinib (c-Met inhibitor for HCC and EGFRm+ NSCLC) and M7824 (bifunctional immunotherapy for HCC and NSCLC).

In 2016, Centron also had the opportunity to partner with brand teams on a number of critical initiatives. Working with Allergan, the Advertising and Market Access divisions of Centron teamed up to create a reimbursement and access portal to differentiate Allergan’s IUD, Liletta. The portal was recognized as a first-in-class offering that significantly eased the burden for gynecology practices and shortened the time from IUD prescription to insertion. The portal model is now being rolled out to other Allergan brands as a best-practice initiative.

According to Scott Baxter, president of Centron Market Access, “Our work on the Liletta portal is a prime example of our integration model at work. The Advertising division launched Liletta, and ensured that the portal stayed true to the strategic and creative vision for the brand. Our foundational knowledge of reimbursement and access challenges maximized utility and relevance for doctors and their office staff.”

Executives say as another example of innovation, the Centron Public Relations group was assigned the PR work for a pop-up event staged for Leo Pharma, its global skin care client. The first-of-its-kind photographic event, called NY SKIN, showcased Leo’s commitment to skin care. At the event, world-renowned photographer Rankin took portraits of everyday New Yorkers to combine into a computer-generated, census-like photo of New York City’s beautiful skin.

Structure & Services

An agile, full-service, integrated communications partner, Centron offers clients a custom blend of expertise precisely aligned with brand opportunities and challenges. Centron offers multidisciplinary leadership in healthcare advertising, medical communications, public relations, and market access/reimbursement. All disciplines are housed in Centron’s New York location, which executives say facilitates a fully integrated communications approach for every client. Centralizing expertise in one location allows agency teams to develop strategically sound POVs that consider all market factors.

Centron offers clients four core disciplines. Centron Advertising specializes in healthcare promotion and communications, delivering scientific and marketing leadership at every brand phase. Executives say the agency offers a stringent discovery and insight-generation process that unearths a brand’s essence – the attributes and promise that drive brand differentiation and success.

Centron Medical Education is a team of M.D.s, Pharm.D.s, Ph.D.s, and medical education professionals transforming science into a story to simplify clinical decision-making. The Centron Public Relations group offers expertise in strategic communications that educate, inform, and influence stakeholders to action. Centron Market Access combines strategy and expertise with cutting-edge tactical execution, helping clients navigate the changing payer environment.

Future Plans

Agency leaders project that 2017 will be a year of reinvention. Centron will continue to push its integrated model to ensure it evolves to align with the shifting healthcare environment. Executive leaders recognize the importance of agency talent to ongoing success and are committed to maximizing core competencies with fresh perspectives, new expertise, and new disciplines. According to executives, whether it’s on the scientific front, in emerging technology, market access, or global market dynamics, Centron has the expertise to trendcast and proactively provide strategic counsel.

According to McLaughlin, “We understand that our industry, both on the client and agency side, is at a critical juncture, and are committed to continually reassessing and realigning our service offering to give our clients our best thinking.”


Centron continues to partner with The Jed Foundation, a recognized leader in promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college and university students. In 2016, Centron worked closely with SAVE, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, a partner of The Jed Foundation. The Centron team is in the process of finalizing creative and tactical recommendations, and is looking forward to rolling out innovative on-the-ground initiatives across multiple channels. The Centron team also joined with the HBA to sponsor a Fit2Lead boxing event created to fortify leadership and perseverance in the boxing ring and workplace.

In 2017, executives say Centron is looking forward to initiating hands-on philanthropic engagements in communities that they can directly help and impact. 

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