LEVERKUSEN—Bayer Healthcare is understood to be considering agency proposals for a roster of PR firms that supports its advocacy outreach around the world.  

The process, which began with an RFI earlier this year, calls for PR firms to demonstrate credentials in a number of therapeutic areas, including oncology, thrombosis, pulmonary hypertension, eye disease, women's health and heart failure.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Bayer is aiming to boost awareness of these areas and better communicate the value of its drugs, in a bid to position its treatments for both patients and healthcare providers.

With numerous stakeholders, including patient groups and healthcare providers, now involved in the market access process, 'advocacy' is becoming an increasingly important component of the equation for pharmaceutical companies.

Like its rival pharma giants, Bayer Healthcare works with numerous patient groups, according to strict principles of transparency.

It is understood that agencies will make presentations to Bayer Healthcare in November. The review is being managed by an external procurement consultancy.

The search comes after Bayer hired FleishmanHillard to handle its global 'issues' assignment earlier this year. The company's crop science unit has also commenced a global PR review.

Bayer representatives did not respond to request for comment.