Lowe London opens Alchemy healthcare for J&J launch brief

Lowe is opening a dedicated healthcare arm in London after being chosen by Johnson & Johnson to spearhead the launch of its first over-the-counter cholesterol-reducing drug.

The new unit, called Lowe Alchemy, will be headed by Lowe's business director, Richard Ellis, who oversaw the pitch for the drug, called Zocor Heart-Pro.

Lowe saw off competition from three other undisclosed agencies to scoop the account. It is not known whether Johnson & Johnson's other roster agencies, DDB London and McCann Erickson, were involved in the process.

Lowe Alchemy already exists in the US, where it is responsible for the Pepcid, Mylanta and Mylicon brands, among others.

Zocor Heart-Pro, which is targeted at people at moderate risk of suffering from heart disease, has been available on prescription in the UK for some time.

But Lowe has now been briefed to develop a campaign that will raise its profile as a drug which will now be available over-the-counter.

Ellis, who takes over as the managing partner of Alchemy, said: "Healthcare brands are still consumer brands. What Lowe Alchemy offers is the brand and consumer expertise of Lowe, combined with the necessary healthcare understanding."