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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

HLG Health Communications 2014

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

1700 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Telephone: 215-563-4461
Facsimile: 215-563-1148

Quick Facts

Account wins 2
Account losses 0
Active business clients 10
Brands by 2013 sales  
Brand-product accounts held 16
$25 million or less 5
$25 million – $50 million 5
$50 million – $100 million 4
$100 million – $500 million 2
Services Mix  
Print professional 35%
Strategic planning   30%
Digital interactive 25%
Market research 10%

Client Roster

Abbott Laboratories
Alliqua Biomedical
BD Pharmaceutical Systems
Christiana Care Health Systems
GE Healthcare
Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Philadelphia-based HLG Health Communications (formerly known as The Hal Lewis Group) remains a fixture on the healthcare and medical marketing scene. With more than 30 years of experience, HLG has always been independently owned and operated. The agency’s independence carries through to its lean operational model and an uncomplicated, client-focused approach. “Last year, we changed our name officially,” says David Winigrad, president. “However, the evolution of the agency has been a work in progress for some time. I’m proud of where we are today. We offer our clients expertly executed work, quickly and cost-effectively.”

The Year’s Accomplishments

Last year, the agency welcomed two new clients to its roster. Alliqua Biomedical, based in Langhorne, Pa., is a supplier of wound care solutions and drug delivery technologies. Delavau – a Philadelphia-based company whose origins date back to 1847 when it was a corner drug store selling treatments for whooping cough – is a formulator and manufacturer of evidenced-based solutions for the OTC pharma and nutritionals industries.

Working with long-time client Jazz Pharmaceuticals, the agency launched Versacloz, a new liquid formulation of the antipsychotic clozapine. Versacloz now offers healthcare practitioners another way to address the symptoms of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. HLG also supports the Jazz brand FazaClo, an orally disintegrating tablet formulation of clozapine also used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

HLG and long-time client Princeton-based GE Healthcare enjoyed an eventful year with two FDA approvals. The first was for the company’s molecular imaging agent AdreView, approved to assess risk in heart failure. AdreView is the first and only FDA-approved molecular imaging agent to link nerve function in the heart to a patient’s mortality risk. In October, GE Healthcare received FDA approval for Vizamyl for detection of beta amyloid. Vizamyl is a radioactive diagnostic agent indicated for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of the brain to estimate beta amyloid neuritic plaque density in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease or other causes of cognitive decline. Vizamyl is the only PET imaging tracer for detection of amyloid approved by the FDA for visual interpretation of color images rather than black and white assessment. The product will be commercially available in 2014.

HLG and GE Healthcare collaborated throughout 2013 to rebrand and develop new campaigns for Optison and DaTscan. HLG continues to support GE Healthcare’s diagnostic imaging portfolio, which includes Omnipaque and Visipaque.

Last year, HLG formed relationships with two organizations in the digital space, executives say. Philadelphia’s Intuitive Company is an award-winning interactive agency that works with the agency to develop iPad apps and other specialized digital designs. IP Communications Group, a leader in search engine optimization and marketing, is assisting HLG in helping clients enhance the effectiveness of their digital campaigns.

Structure And Services

A division of HLG’s core business is Biologix Communications & Research (, an online market research service. The division continues to grow and provide value to the agency’s clients with its state-of-the-art professional and consumer market research. “We are very pleased to offer our clients an alternative approach to obtaining high quality market research,” says Jami Stover, group account director. “The data, reports, and turnaround time are excellent, as is the price point.”

A major new initiative announced in December 2013 was the formation of Centric Infographics. Dave Winigrad formed a partnership with two colleagues, Maureen Winigrad and John Griffith, to launch the new venture. Centric Infographics, with offices in the Philadelphia area and Boston, offers clients an “infographics system” that is smart, sophisticated, and affordable. The infographics are fully optimized and coded to achieve and sustain top search engine ranking. An example is Centric’s collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation. The educational infographic titled “Managing Epilepsy & Seizures: Facts to Help Keep You Safe” achieved the No. 1 ranking within the first week of introduction. Additionally, the clicks from the infographic increased traffic to the Epilepsy Foundation’s website by 40 percent, and it has more than 100,000 Facebook views.

“We believe this infographic will empower people with epilepsy to take steps to lower their risk and build awareness so we can work together to prevent sudden unexplained death in epilepsy,” says Cyndi Wright, director of the SUDEP Institute, a project led by the Epilepsy Foundation. “We are very appreciative of the role that Centric Infographics played in helping us get this critical message to the community.”

HLG Health Communications specializes in midsize brands in specialty markets. Since its inception, HLG has chosen to remain independently owned and operated. Executives say the agency’s partnerships and relationships are built on a soft-wired model that promotes collaboration with only best-in-class and like-minded organizations. The agency’s size offers a number of client-driven advantages. It is able to offer full-service capabilities without the functional silos and superstructures that typically bog down process, drive up cost, and reduce efficiency. This independence gives HLG the freedom to evolve its service offerings to stay ahead of client needs and market trends.

Staffed with professionals who have spent long careers in the advertising, pharma, and digital sectors, HLG differentiates itself by offering clients unparalleled service at all levels of the organization, executives say. Senior managers are continuously hands-on at HLG. “We believe the key to great work is great service,” Winigrad says. “Our culture is about long-lasting client-agency relationships. We do whatever it takes to ensure that our clients are every bit as successful as they can be. That’s our promise.”

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