OPEN Health at the 10-year mark: a timeline of our company history

Written by Candice Subero on Thursday 28th January 2021

Anniversaries are a time to celebrate where we’ve come from and how we’ve grown along the way.

This timeline narrates the decade-long odyssey that brought us to where we are now—an odyssey that continues today! 

Please join us on the journey as we consolidate the wisdom gained in the past 10 years and look with optimism and purpose at the many years of opportunity that lie ahead. In honor of all those who have made OPEN Health possible, cheers to the next 10 years!


Our Very First Employee

“Employee #1”: That was the designation given to OPEN Health’s first employee, Laura Leach, hired to set up the Marlow, UK office. Her goal was to create an environment where people could work safely and collaboratively. But here’s the thing about starting a new business—there is a lot of information out there, but resources can be limited. The office lacked a dishwasher and a cleaning service. Guess who picked up the slack? Her dedication and flexibility won her accolades, and as the first employee, she had the chance to work directly with the founders—David Rowley, Sandy Royden, Roger Selman, and Marcus Perry —and help bring their vision to life.

Today, Laura is the Global Facilities Director at OPEN Health, in which role she focuses on the health and safety of all employees.


Building Communications and Real-World Evidence

In 2012, Succinct Communications joined to strengthen our existing capabilities and provide clients with an unparalleled range of consulting skills spanning medical communication, advertising, brand development and public relations.

The same year, noting a paradigm shift in real world data requirements across the product lifecycle, in 2012 OPEN Health acquired two data businesses; pH Associates, which specialized in designing and implementing projects to generate real-world evidence, and Harvey Walsh, experts in health informatics with in-house access to existing datasets such as Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). These two additions helped OPEN Health create a leading real-world data offering in the UK. Being united as one has allowed us to meet the demand for data and deliver tremendous value to our clients through our enhanced real-world evidence offering.

The Real-World Evidence team, now led by Sam Oliver, has seen steady growth year over year for the past 13 years and from humble beginnings in the UK is now a globally recognized real-world evidence brand.


Patient Focused, Then and Now

Patient outcomes are at the heart of our business. In 2013, we brought together the expertise and heritage of three long-standing companies—The EarthWorks, LEC, and Reynolds Mackenzie—to form a multi-skilled healthcare communications agency that understood patients’ needs. Since then, we have applied patient-engagement strategies to major commercial models from engagement and retention in clinical trials, through to the collection of real-world patient data to support the value proposition of marketed medicines, and everything in between.

Today, we continue to embed patient centricity into every project that we undertake. Our merged team includes both Patient-Centered Outcomes & Patient Engagement, and is led by Caitlyn Solem and Richard Jones.


Introducing Our Market Access Division

In 2014, we recognized that demonstrating value was getting tougher, with payers, physicians, and patients looking for stronger, more compelling evidence. Our market access offering was developed in response to client needs, both within our real-world evidence and medical communications practices, for payer focused value communications to support optimal reimbursement and funding of new technologies.

Today, the Strategic Market Access team is led by Dipen Patel.


International Expansion by Choice

In 2016, we completed the acquisition of specialist medical communications agency Choice Healthcare Solutions (CHS) to strengthen our international offerings and extend our reach across key markets, from London to Chicago and Dubai. By virtue of the acquisition, OPEN Health became one of Europe’s largest healthcare communications groups, with a 230-strong team joined by an additional 40 experienced professionals from CHS.


Rare Disease Expertise

In 2018, Gavin Jones was appointed to the newly created role of Global Advisor, Rare Diseases, to work in close partnership with all teams. Gavin’s key focus was then and remains today to drive existing and future partnerships with customers working in this growing area, with its significant unmet needs and other unique challenges. The investment in rare disease was made to support our customers’ work toward greater access and uptake of their innovative and much needed treatments. A leader in his field, Gavin has been very active in his role, connecting the rare disease community and our clients to drive positive change, leading numerous webinars, and writing thought pieces.


Hello, Peloton (Not the Bike!)

We merged with Peloton Advantage in 2018 to improve our offerings as a leading global medical communications group. The merger significantly increased our size; we grew to seven locations across three continents, with about 520 employees. At the time of the merger, Peloton already had a longstanding history of working with 90% of the world’s top 40 pharmaceutical companies, with a broad client base in biotechnology and medical devices. Today, Peloton co-founder Carolyn S. Clark remains on the OPEN Health team as a board member and chairman of the Communications practice.


Pharmerit Brings HEOR and Innovation

In 2019, we merged with Pharmerit, a global leader in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR). Joining the Pharmerit business with the OPEN Health Group established a new, unique entity poised to be a global leader in HEOR, market access, and medical communications. Besides more than 20 years of HEOR expertise, Pharmerit brought into OPEN Health its innovations in the field of modelling and meta-analysis, adding a new avenue to value for our clients. The integration expanded our operations to fifteen offices across six countries—namely, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, India, and China—and gave us a combined workforce of around 750 people.


OPEN Health Wins Medical Affairs Agency Award

What a way to wrap up 2020 as winners of the Medical Affairs Agency of the Year Award at Communiqué 2020! The Communiqué judges commented “OPEN is clearly ambitious and focused on evolving their Medical Affairs expertise. The judges found them to be a cohesive team with a strong culture and ethos which is positively driving growth and excellent work.” We are proud to say that our submission focused on what made our growth possible, and that is the wonderful people within the business. This award recognizes our outstanding efforts and amazing achievements. OPEN Health continues its growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will constantly develop and support our staff as we grow both geographically as well as financially.


New Year, Same Beliefs

What’s in store for us in 2021? OPEN Health is and always will be in a constant state of development and growth, but our reason for being is set in stone. We do all this for one very simple reason–because we believe that everyone should be able to access and benefit from the best medicines, health technologies, and medical innovations the world has to offer. This year we have realigned our business practices to operate as nine integrated centers of excellence to better demonstrate our value to more of the world. Look for our new website launching in Feburary 2021!

Please contact Candice Subero for more information.