Ashfield turns to Popit for digital patient support tool

Ashfield Engage has agreed a deal to incorporate Popit’s digital tools in its patient support programmes, with the aim of improving adherence to treatments. 

Finnish startup Popit has developed a device called Popit Sense that clips to a blister pill sheet and uses technology to monitor whether a dose has been taken, sending reminders to patients via a smartphone app.

The digital health tool has been clinically validated to reduce the number of missed doses and has been already used by several pharma companies, including Novartis, Pfizer, and Almirall, which is using it to help patients adhere to a psoriasis therapy.

A pilot study in 24 women showed that without the system, 11 (46%) of those taking part forgot to take one or more pills during the first one-month period. When the reminder system was turned on in the second month, two women (8%) forgot one or more pills, a statistically significant reduction.

Ashfield Engage specialises in programmes that encourage engagement between patients, healthcare professionals, and payers, based on adaptive analytics. The company says it will use Popit’s technology to improve patient adherence with oral medicines and provide “personalised patient support”.

Along with providing reminders to patients, the data can also be shared with healthcare staff to identify patients who need extra support. For example, Ashfield Engage can use its call centre teams to reach out to patients and discuss whether they are having problems with their medication, and if changes are needed.

“While the majority of patients are adherent, those with a need for support can now be quickly identified and we can engage with them in a way that was previously not possible, which is really exciting,” said Ian Riches, the company’s global vice president, patient solutions.

“While typically patient data is only collected up to the point of prescription, we can now support patients throughout their treatment in real-time,” he added.

The Popit Sense device can be clipped to just about any kind of medicine blister sheet, which is the most common form of packaging for oral solid dosage (OSD) drugs globally.

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UDG Healthcare acquires market access, HEOR specialist, PHMR Limited as Ashfield Advisory

Ashfield Advisory, part of UDG Healthcare plc, today announced the acquisition of PHMR Limited, a Market Access Consultancy and specialist in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR)

Within Ashfield Advisory, PHMR will join forces with Putnam Associates, who specialise in strategy consulting exclusively for the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. This will strengthen Putnam’s global value, pricing and access practice area by adding complementary HEOR and research science expertise, as well as expanding the company’s reach in Europe and Japan.

As part of Putnam, PHMR will join Vynamic, STEM Healthcare and SmartAnalyst under the Ashfield Advisory umbrella.

Colin Stanley, Global President of Ashfield Advisory said: “I’m thrilled to announce that PHMR is joining Putnam Associates and the Ashfield Advisory business unit. The PHMR team brings a wealth of experience and trusted expertise that makes them the perfect fit to become a part of both Putnam Associates and our wider Ashfield Advisory offering.

“I look forward to seeing the value both PHMR and Ashfield Advisory’s existing clients will gain from this acquisition, as it significantly strengthens and expands our existing offering. The additional support we can provide to our clients in Europe and Japan makes this a really exciting time for our business as we continue to experience demand in these major markets.”

Founded in 2008, PHMR is headquartered in London with offices in Newcastle, UK and Westport, Ireland. PHMR employs 40 multidisciplinary, highly-qualified team members of health economists and research scientists.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Ratcliffe, Founder of PHMR added: “This acquisition brings great opportunities to both our current and future clients, as we’ll be able to offer the same exceptional service, with the added value of being connected to the Ashfield Advisory ecosystem, as and when our clients need additional support.

“I am extremely proud of the team at PHMR and what we have achieved together. I am very grateful for all their hard work, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together as part of the Ashfield Advisory team.”

To find out more about Ashfield Advisory’s newly formed boutique ecosystem of Advisory businesses, visit:

For more information about Ashfield Advisory’s business visit:


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Ashfield Advisory launches its Advisory Ecosystem in response to market demand

Today, Ashfield Advisory, a business unit of Ashfield, part of UDG Healthcare, plc., outlines its new Advisory Ecosystem Model. The Ashfield Advisory businesses – Vynamic, Putnam Associates, STEM Healthcare and SmartAnalyst – combine their expertise to provide specialist, yet integrated services to customers spanning insight, strategy, action and evaluation.

Ashfield has built the Advisory platform through selective acquisition and strong organic growth. The carefully curated ecosystem of healthcare-focused advisory businesses is perfectly positioned to offer niche, boutique consulting to its customers, through the existing business models and brands.

Now, Ashfield Advisory can also offer a connected suite of services by bringing the best of these businesses together, offering integrated service lines, and connected thinking across the commercialisation continuum.

“Our customers’ challenges require the best solutions. Through our existing Advisory businesses, they have enjoyed the highest quality service and output for many years. But we also get requests for broader, connected service offerings, or enquiries about our capabilities across our businesses”, commented Colin Stanley, Global President, Ashfield Advisory.

“Our Advisory Ecosystem model allows customers to work through the existing relationships they have with our businesses, but still access our broader capabilities. We provide them with a connected, data driven, insightful and actionable solution, as well as access to the best consultants in the best boutique firms. Frankly that drives value, and differentiates us clearly from the big Consulting Firms, or CROs where life science is not a speciality, or drug development revenues are the priority.”

Ashfield Advisory’s growth ambitions are not limited to the current business set.

There is clear aspiration to continue along the current trajectory of both organic and inorganic growth. Stanley continues: “We have created Ashfield Advisory as a platform for further scale and diversification. We already see significant interest from our customers in acquiring connected services. That feedback helps us to identify further M&A opportunity, such as today’s acquisition of PHMR which will form part of the Putnam Associates business, building out our market access capabilities and our footprint in Europe and Japan.

“It also aligns neatly with our fundamental strategy of investment in our existing Advisory businesses and to create an environment where they can prosper and enjoy sustainable, but expedited growth.”


The Ashfield Advisory companies collectively offer an advanced strategic consulting experience but individually provide four distinct offerings in the health arena; STEM Healthcare focuses on brand management effectiveness and benchmarking, Vynamic is a management consulting firm focused on organisational change prioritising culture, SmartAnalyst provides strategic consulting with a focus on science and data and Putnam Associates is a strategic consulting firm focused on market access and commercial strategy.

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Ashfield Engage launches with an integrated offering to maximize engagement

Ashfield Engage, a business unit of Ashfield, part of UDG Healthcare plc., today launches as an engagement and commercialization partner for the healthcare industry. Previously ‘Ashfield Commercial and Patient Solutions’, the business has grown and enhanced its capabilities across five specialist areas:  Medical Affairs, Market Access*, Commercial, Patient Solutions, and Event Experiences.

Driven by customer demand for diverse, collaborative commercialization services, Ashfield Engage launches as a single partner to create personalized, impactful experiences for all healthcare audiences, across all channels.

Staying ahead of the surging demand for remote strategies and the impact of COVID-19 on behaviours, Ashfield Engage is focused on engaging with patients, HCPs and payers on behalf of its clients to the maximum effect, whether virtually or in-person.

Greg Flynn, Global President at Ashfield Engage, explains: “We recognize change is inevitable, but transformation is a result of conscious choice. Our clients are adapting to the changing world and there are gaps that need to be filled which is demonstrated by the growth in outsourcing, and this is where we step in.

“One of the benefits of working with Ashfield Engage is that we draw on diverse expertise from different specialist areas, connecting patients, HCPs and payers with knowledge, support and medicines. We execute sophisticated, omnichannel strategies that increase awareness and engagement, bring products to market faster and more effectively, maximize sales performance and ROI, and support long-term patient adherence.”

The Ashfield Engage approach is underpinned by adaptive analytics, human connections, and customer-centric technology, enabling the team to engage with patients, practitioners and payers where they are.

Built on a strong heritage of over 20 years’ experience, Ashfield Engage provides a truly global offering, with a team of 5,000 employees delivering services in more than 50 countries. Whether digital, virtual or in-person, our services include sales solutions, patient engagement programs, medical information, medical science liaisons (MSLs), events, and market access*.

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* Currently a US-only service

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Ashfield advances integrated service offering with three new business units

Newly formed Ashfield Advisory, Ashfield Engage and Ashfield Health enable deeper partnerships and cross-collaborative solutions for customers

Ashfield, part of UDG Healthcare plc, today announced the formation of three business units to bolster its integrated healthcare services across strategic consulting, benchmarking, commercialisation, customer engagement, events, marketing and communications.

The creation of the three business units; Ashfield Advisory, Ashfield Engage and Ashfield Health, follows Ashfield’s strategic acquisition of 22 businesses over the last 10 years aimed at strengthening its integrated service portfolio to support its clients, healthcare professionals and their patients.

The move is also in direct response to continued demand from clients for deeper partnerships and will enable greater collaboration between Ashfield’s experts to solve multi-faceted and complex challenges.

The three business units clearly articulate the capabilities within each business unit and how each can support Ashfield’s diverse range of healthcare and life science companies:

  • Ashfield Advisory is a carefully curated ecosystem of healthcare advisory and consulting businesses with a targeted focus on accelerating business performance; connecting the expertise of Vynamic, Putnam Associates, SMART Analyst and STEM Healthcare.
  • Ashfield Engage is a single strategic engagement partner across five specialist areas: Commercial, Patient Solutions, Medical Affairs, Market Access and Event Experiences. The team creates personalised, impactful experiences for healthcare audiences including HCPs, patients and payers.
  • Ashfield Health, formerly Ashfield Healthcare Communications, uses its collective, dynamic health marketing and communications teams to ultimately strive for better health. Today, Ashfield Health also unveils two new global agencies.

“Ashfield has always been driven by a desire to redefine and develop richer client partnerships, improving customer experience and outcomes. Our business has evolved in recent years due to a number of strategic and complementary acquisitions, and our new structure tells a simpler, stronger story. Most importantly, it enables our clients to access a breadth of industry-leading solutions and experience our collective expertise, combined with outstanding execution.” explains Ryan Quigley, Chief Operating Officer of Ashfield and UDG Healthcare plc.

“Throughout Ashfield, we are connected by imagination, strategy and action, in everything we do. Our capabilities in data and digital engagement are a good example of this and through innovative approaches we are enabling our clients to adapt to the present pandemic as well as helping them to prepare for the future. Our integrated offering will allow us to better meet clients’ needs, tackle their challenges with ingenuity and create tangible solutions.”

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Ashfield Healthcare Communications rebrands as Ashfield Health


  • Former 19-year McCann Health veteran, latterly President of the Americas, Amar Urhekar, joins as Global President of the >1,450 people-strong Ashfield Health network.
  • Ashfield Digital and Creative (UK), Cambridge BioMarketing (US) and Pegasus (UK) merge to form Mind+Matter, a new global, data-driven creative communications agency.
  • Ashfield Health’s 14 medical and scientific communications agencies come together to create Ashfield MedComms, a new 700 strong global powerhouse.
  • Ashfield Health agencies unified by common brand identity and shared new purpose to ‘make it matter’

Embargoed until 06.00 EST / 11.00 GMT 26th January 2021Ashfield Health, part of UDG Healthcare plc, announces transformational changes including the unveiling of a new Global President, a rebrand, and the launch of two new global agencies. 

Following a healthcare communications career spanning over two decades of leadership in five countries, Amar Urhekar takes the helm as Global President of the >1,450 strong network that is rebranding from Ashfield Healthcare Communications to Ashfield Health. Since joining, Amar Urhekar has led the network through the challenges of COVID-19, resulting in continued growth, and has put a new strategy in place, which sees Ashfield Health emerge as a new agile, dynamic network – data and technology driven, creative, and diverse.

Ashfield Health is now designed to respond better and quicker to the new challenges our clients face. We encourage independence and entrepreneurialism in our specialist agency teams but also have the unique ability to work as one team when needed. By unifying around our common purpose of make it matter, we have stronger connections that enable us to scale rapidly and provide our clients with tailored expert teams. We can truly deliver life-changing work that matters,” said Amar Urhekar, Global President of Ashfield Health.

Central to Ashfield Health’s new strategy has been a merging of some of the network’s standout acquisitions from the past 10 years to form two exciting new global agencies – Mind+Matter and Ashfield MedComms.

Mind+Matter is a new 250-strong global creative communications agency blending data and technology with emotion to create meaningful experiences. Formed through the merging of three successful Ashfield Health agencies – US-based Cambridge BioMarketing, UK-based Ashfield Digital and Creative and Pegasus – Mind+Matter will span the breadth of health from consumer wellness through to established pharma and rare and novel therapies.  Mind+Matter will be led by former President of Cambridge BioMarketing, Ben Beckley.

“We’re already using data and descriptive analytics to predict behaviour before it happens, but Mind+Matter will be breaking new ground by significantly investing in new data talent and technology and combining this with emotionally powerful creativity. By bringing these three individual agencies together, we have built a new team that can operate globally and uniquely apply this across the full spectrum of health – a perfect example of how Ashfield Health is answering the big challenges our clients have,” comments Urhekar.

Ashfield MedComms brings together over 700 creatives, scientists, strategists, and client partners to form one of the largest scientific and medical communications agencies in the world. Ashfield MedComms’ work will continue to span new medicines for diseases where no treatment existed, to paradigm-shifting advances, to precision medicines, real-world evidence and patient-relevant outcomes, to technologies and diagnostics. This new global powerhouse will be headed up by regional Ashfield Health Presidents Richard Lawrence (International) and Matt Jacobson (North America), reporting into Amar Urhekar.

“The scientific strength and leadership in our individual agencies has been built over decades, but the creation of Ashfield MedComms signals our ability to evolve for today. By bringing our agencies together and investing heavily in strategic and creative talent, our clients will have a unrivalled global partner that can help them play a bigger role in shaping the future of healthcare and ultimately patient’s lives,” said Urhekar.

The Ashfield Health network has grown rapidly in recent years following a series of select – specialist acquisitions, including CanaleComms, CreateNYC, Galliard, Incisive Health, and MicroMass in addition to the former Cambridge BioMarketing and Pegasus agencies.  All Ashfield Health agencies are united by a new brand identity and shared purpose to make it matter.

“Central to connecting this great network of agencies is a shared purpose,” explains Urhekar.  “Our drive to ‘make it matter’ inspires us to grow, adapt, be more creative and work smarter than anyone else to deliver work that is truly life changing. From making discoveries to making a difference, we will take every opportunity to challenge convention and spark change for better health – this is something that you will see in every Ashfield Health agency.”

The new strategy has seen several new positions created to support capability development, growth and innovation – an example of this is the appointment of former Business Unit Head with responsibility for Ashfield Digital and Creative and Pegasus, Simon Hackett, into the role of Global Growth Director, Ashfield Health.

Visit to find out more – live on 26th January 2021.

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