CRO inVentiv on Monday announced a joint venture with the partners of the US lobbying firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti to help pharma companies further understand the health policy and regulatory landscape.
The new Washington, DC-based company, which will be called Breakaway Policy Strategies, aims to help healthcare companies understand and respond to the new changes that US healthcare reform legislation, known as Obamacare, will usher in.
The company will look to updated information on the emergence of accountable care organizations, health insurance exchanges and bundled payment arrangements.
Sydney Rubin, chief communications officer of inVentiv, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the JV “is not about pushing more into communications/consulting, since we already have a substantial portion of our business engaged in these areas” but about adding a “high-level, strategic policy research and consulting” venture.
“It is hard to overstate the complexity of the changes or the impact they will have over the next few years on life sciences companies, including many inVentiv Health clients,” Rubin said. “
Dean Rosen, former health policy director for US Senate Majority Leader William Frist, will serve as Breakaway’s President and CEO. Rick Smith, former EVP for policy and research at PhRMA (the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America), will also join Rosen as an executive at the new firm.
But in terms of whether this is a sign that inVentiv is looking to navigate away from the more typical services offered by the CRO industry, Rubin said that “we’re absolutely in no way pushing away from trial services.”
She added that it’s unknown how more employees the firm will hire, though Rosen last week “hired two high-powered consultants.”
Breakaway will also add to inVentiv Health’s presence in DC, which already includes its public relations firm, Chandler Chicco Companies, which recently appointed Heather Gartman as its new DC office head.