Angling for more reach with providers, Merck melds Univadis unit with Physicians Interactive

In a Merck-to-Merck transaction, multichannel healthcare marketer Physicians Interactive has acquired healthcare professional content provider and network Univadis. Univadis had previously been a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Merck ($MRK), while Physicians Interactive is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck that operates independently with its own board of directors.

Physicians Interactive chief marketing and strategy officer Brian Robinson

"Merck and Physicians Interactive both recognized the timeliness of moving Univadis within PI," said Brian Robinson, chief marketing and strategy officer at Physicians Interactive. He added that while his company has some similar healthcare provider engagement, Univadis enhances those capabilities and adds strength in Europe, namely in France, Spain, Italy and the U.K.

Univadis has more than 3 million healthcare provider members and provides content across 63 specialties in 90 different countries. Its professional content includes medical news, conference reports, references, textbooks and online education modules from sources such as the BMJ, the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet.

"There is a transformation underway in healthcare, one that requires a fresh, integrated approach grounded in proven digital strategies," Donato Tramuto, chairman and CEO of Physicians Interactive, said in a press release. "With the expanded reach and rich medical content this acquisition offers, we are even better positioned to provide the end-to-end solutions our commercial partners need to deeply engage healthcare professionals--resulting in greater awareness and better health outcomes."

The addition of Univadis not only positions PI well in the U.S. and the European countries mentioned, but also sets the stage for the "continued expansion into dozens of markets around the world is planned over the next three years," according to the release.

Physicians Interactive this summer bought physician peer-to-peer network QuantiaMD, which has an online community that includes one-third of U.S. physicians. Quantia creates co-developed paid client-specific content which is marked as coming from pharma or healthcare provider partners.

- read the release

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