The ranks of the independent healthcare public relations agencies have been thinning in recent years. There was a time when MCS was competing regularly with the likes of Wang (acquired by Rowland) and GTFH (absorbed into GCI). Now it’s one of the last holdouts against the onslaught of full-service firms with fine healthcare practices, still winning its share of business in the marketing communications, clinical trial recruitment, issues and crisis counsel, and employee communications realm from a range of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers.
In recent years, MCS has handled a wide range of healthcare assignments, from training speakers for presentations to the Food & Drug Administration, to developing patient education brochures and newsletters, to announcing the approval of new medications. Clients include many of the companies clustered around the firm’s New Jersey headquarters: Pharmacia, Aventis, APBiotech. New client assignments in 2000 included the introduction of Pharmacia’s overactive bladder treatment Detrol, while ongoing work included promoting Lovenox for Aventis and Activase for Genentech. The firm recorded its third consecutive year of 20 percent growth, ending 2000 with fee income of around $3.5 million.
The agency expanded its counseling ranks last year too, hiring vice president Philip Gimson from the public affairs group at Merck and adding Laura Mascharka as director of client service from the medical technology industry. They will join a team-oriented environment that combines executives from corporate, agency, journalism, and healthcare worlds and has developed some impressive work-life benefits, including a sabbatical program unusual for a boutique agency.