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Acquisition provides GfK's health care clients with a high level of strategic support across increasingly complex areas of pricing, reimbursement and market access

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 3:45am
The Associated Press

NUREMBERG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 2, 2012-- GfK, one of the world's largest market research organizations, announced today the full acquisition and integration of Bridgehead International - operating henceforth as GfK Bridgehead - a leading market access consultancy serving global companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics industries. The acquisition signals GfK's commitment to strategically invest in and expand its global health care business, while directly responding to clients' needs for comprehensive guidance in navigating the highly complex and continually evolving payer and market access landscape.

Founded in 1994 and operating in the United States and Europe, Bridgehead has become a preferred partner for health care companies seeking expert support in pricing, reimbursement, health economics and market access, providing critical insight and knowledge of local health care systems in current and emerging markets.

"The acquisition of Bridgehead represents an important strategic investment for GfK at a time when governments, insurance companies and other health care providers are increasingly using pricing and reimbursement controls in an attempt to contain spiraling health care costs," said Debra A. Pruent, Chief Operating Officer, GfK, and responsible for the Consumer Experiences sector. "As a global leader in custom health care research solutions and market understanding and market measurement services, GfK is committed to fulfilling our clients' needs for data and insights at every touch point across the product life cycle, and that includes the acute need for intensive market access counsel at every stage, from development through postlaunch." Companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics industries increasingly seek fresh and innovative ways to meet the needs of regulators, payers, clinicians and patients. By harnessing and integrating Bridgehead's expertise, GfK will be in the position to focus on a key emerging research area within health care and globally extend the value of this offering to make it even more relevant to clients, as market access and payer insights become critical for successful business outcomes.

Additionally, GfK will build upon Bridgehead's global payer panel and the company's U.S. online portal, which provides critical insight into the views of payers covering nearly 200 million lives.

"For Bridgehead's staff and clients, GfK represents an almost perfect complementary fit, both from the perspective of GfK's global reputation for excellence and quality as well as its keen focus on innovation and advancement, especially in the challenging health care environment," said Timothy A.J. Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, Bridgehead. "We are confident that by combining Bridgehead's expertise in market access with GfK's global reach and renowned qualitative and quantitative health care market research capabilities, we are ideally positioned to support the full spectrum of our clients' needs as they seek to hard wire market access and payer insights into their R&D, portfolio, business development, commercialization and life cycle strategies." Bridgehead, which generated sales of EUR 12.12 million in 2011, will maintain and grow its staff, which currently totals 60 professionals, and retain its offices in Melton Mowbray and London in the U.K., as well as Boston, San Francisco and New York City in the U.S.

Additionally, the company's executive leadership will maintain its current roles in the newly named GfK Bridgehead organization. Timothy Fitzgerald will continue to lead the organization as Managing Director.

About GfK GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with 11,000 experts working to discover new insights about the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating to use the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2010, GfK's sales amounted to EUR 1.29 billion.

To find out more, visit GfK at www.gfkhealthcare.com or follow GfK on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gfkhealthcare About Bridgehead International Bridgehead's mission is to work with commercial organizations and government agencies to ensure that patients have rapid and broad access to new, innovative medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools, particularly in areas of high unmet need. Bridgehead is globally recognized for its expertise in market access strategy; pricing and reimbursement strategy; health economics and health technology assessment. In 2007 and 2011, Bridgehead was honored for its outstanding achievement in international trade with The Queen's Award for Enterprise, which is the U.K.'s top award for business performance and the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a U.K.

company. To find out more, visit Bridgehead at www.bridgehead.com.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid50185155&langen CONTACT: Responsible under press legislation GfK SE, Corporate Communications Marion Eisenblatter Nordwestring 101 D-90419 Nuremberg Tel. +49 911 395-2645 Fax +49 911 395-4041 public.relations@gfk.com KEYWORD: UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES EUROPE NORTH AMERICA GERMANY NEW YORK INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH BIOTECHNOLOGY MEDICAL DEVICES PHARMACEUTICAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONSULTING MANAGED CARE SOURCE: GfK Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 03/02/2012 08:00 AM/DISC: 03/02/2012 08:00 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120302005031/

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