The pharma report: no fixed approach

No Fixed Address Health is carving out a niche as a digital-first agency that can do it all in-house
NFA designed a gamified, web-based experience for physicians that allowed them to “test” treatment choices across various profiles of people living with diabetes, such as patient Xavier

NFA designed a gamified, web-based experience for physicians that allowed them to “test” treatment choices across various profiles of people living with diabetes, such as patient Xavier

People sometimes get the impression that the name No Fixed Address (NFA) means the company doesn’t have an address, office or staff.

In fact, the five-year-old company has offices in Toronto, Montreal and New York and a staff of 200. The name was chosen by founders and agency veterans Serge Rancourt and Dave Lafond to reflect their method toward servicing clients.

“No fixed solutions, no fixed approach, no fixed costing structure,” explains Dorothy Czylyski, President of NFA Health. It’s a philosophy that can mean reinventing the wheel with every client.

“We have frameworks and models, but we’re not bound to them,” adds David Brown, VP, healthcare insight and strategy. “We instead defer to the insights of the people we’re trying to serve.”

Czylyski says another key differentiator for NFA is that it doesn’t have the typical “triangle” agency structure with a few key people at the top and then a bunch of juniors. “We don’t have a lot of junior people,” she says. “It’s our senior people doing the work, meaning that our clients always get the A-team.”

NFA’s integrated model is key, she adds, pointing out that while a company typically will use multiple agencies to execute, NFA has the capabilities to provide medical writing, copywriting, creative, website and email development, media, PR, video production, as well as campaign measurement and analytics in-house, which translates to greater ease and less of a burden for the client.

Being a digital-first agency means NFA is inspired by what’s happening on the consumer side, bringing its capabilities and creativity to the healthcare space. Czylyski cites a recent project with Novo Nordisk for which NFA built a “choose-your-ownadventure” digital experience for HCPs that mimicked real-life clinical practice, allowing them to “test” treatment choices across various profiles of people living with diabetes in a safe, gamified, web-based experience.

“Humans learn better through play, and doctors are humans, too,” she says.

With Sanofi Genzyme Canada, NFA created a web-based medical education program called Multiple Myeloma Assessment Pathway, inspired by the way travel websites help narrow down vacation choices. The program helps hematologist-oncologists navigate complex treatment pathways based on real patients.

For the “MyTreatmentMyWay” DTC campaign, NFA used an online quiz to draw a link between features of rheumatoid arthritis patients’ lifestyle preferences, empowering them to consult their physicians.

For the “MyTreatmentMyWay” DTC campaign, NFA used an online quiz to draw a link between features of rheumatoid arthritis patients’ lifestyle preferences, empowering them to consult their physicians.

NFA emphasizes insight-based strategy. “We spend a lot of time conducting primary research, listening to physicians, talking to patients and nurses and understanding their lived experiences,” Brown says. “We bring that perspective to our clients and creative teams so that collectively we can create deliverables that truly meet physician and patient needs.”

Having analyzed the struggles that teens and parents experience when transitioning to adult care for cystic fibrosis, NFA crafted an adherence tool with Vertex Pharma that resembled an interactive board book with innovative design and multimedia components. A virtual voice assistant is also being developed that allows patients to refill their medication using Alexa.

NFA also works on direct-to-consumer (DTC) campaigns for pharma, in one case developing an online interactive quiz for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to assess the type of treatment they would prefer based on their lifestyle.

“The possibilities are endless in the digital space and constantly changing,” notes Czylyski, which keeps things exciting at NFA.

“We have this intersection between clearly identifying the problem we are trying to solve, then getting at it with insight-based strategy, creativity, and scientific acumen,” adds Brown. “That’s where we live and thrive.”

CONTACT:
Dorothy Czylyski
president of NFA Health
dorothy.czylyski@nofixedaddressinc.com

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