Mail-order pharmacy seeks premier agency

year-and-a-half-old Pharmex Containment Services is on the hunt for its first ad agency.Neil Skelding, president of the Oakville, Ont.-based mail order pharmacy, says he is in the process of developing Pharmex's 1994 marketing plan.And Skelding says that upon completing the plan,...

year-and-a-half-old Pharmex Containment Services is on the hunt for its first ad agency.

Neil Skelding, president of the Oakville, Ont.-based mail order pharmacy, says he is in the process of developing Pharmex’s 1994 marketing plan.

And Skelding says that upon completing the plan, sometime in February, he will begin casting around for an agency to put it into motion.

Skelding declines to reveal company revenues for 1993, or estimate his 1994 marketing budget.

Pharmex conducts about 70% of its sales through group drug plans held by institutional clients. The balance of its sales are to various groups, associations and the public at large.

In the past, the firm has run occasional ads, developed in-house with execution by freelancers, in trade magazines related to the pharmacy and health-care industries.

Skelding says that, in 1994, he intends to intensify his marketing and advertising efforts, focussing primarily on the institutional sector.

Currently, the firm is running a full-page ad in the December/January issue of Group Healthcare Management, a trade magazine targetting the group healthcare managers.

Pharmex is one of two pioneering companies that started mail order pharmacy operations in 1992.

Between them, they have managed to hive off a significant chunk of the pharmaceutical products market, which previously was the exclusive domain of traditional pharmacy retailers.

On Dec. 19, Skelding’s business acumen was recognized by the cbc tv show Venture, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year at its first annual, televised awards show honoring Canadian business excellence. PA