New Ownership Expands MK&A’s Patient Engagement and Advocacy Expertise

By: Mark Krueger, MPH

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the acquisition of MK&A by Cláudia Hirawat, a long-time friend, former client, and colleague.  This strategic change strengthens MK&A’s ability to support our clients in ensuring that patients and their advocates are central to shaping health care.  Cláudia’s commitment to patients, consumers, and health care professionals has been demonstrated repeatedly, first as president of pioneering biotech company PTC Therapeutics, and later as a volunteer for EURORDIS and other advocacy organizations.  She has also contributed to our firm’s success across three years’ service on our board of advisors.  Cláudia understands that advocacy and MK&A make a difference.

Since 1995, MK&A has enabled our clients to engage productively with multidisciplinary stakeholders and incorporate patients’ knowledge and preferences into all areas of a company.  Among the myriad accomplishments of which we are most proud has been our ability to conceive and deliver innovative advocacy relations programs for hundreds of different diseases and conditions. We have also boosted corporate reputations, navigated the complexities of the orphan drug environment, and delivered innovative pre-approval drug access programs. We will build on these accomplishments by setting new standards of excellence, expanding our services, and helping define effective models of collaboration in global health care.

Cláudia and I are especially pleased that Ellen Coleman, MSSA, MPH is now our president and chief executive officer.  Ellen has been with MK&A for eight years, and her expertise and dedication will be paramount as we advance the growth of the firm.  I am invigorated by this new chapter of the MK&A story and will serve as chief strategic officer, partnering with Cláudia and Ellen to define and execute an enhanced vision for our firm.  Our team in the US and Europe remains in place, continuing to deliver excellent work, as always.

We look forward to continuing to set the standard of excellence in patient engagement and advocacy relations, just as we remain grateful to all of our partners – companies, advocacy organizations, and many others – for their contributions to helping people live healthier lives.

Please join me in welcoming Cláudia Hirawat to MK&A and congratulating Ellen Coleman on her promotion to leading our firm.


Mark Krueger, MPH

Chief Strategic Officer



About the Author:

Mark Krueger, MPH

Mark Krueger founded MK&A (Mark Krueger & Associates, Inc.) in 1995 to help pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies partner with patient, consumer and professional groups to speed drug development and approval, promote appropriate use, and ensure equitable access and reimbursement.  He brings 25 years of public health and advocacy experience to the firm and has earned respect for his strategic approach to building equitable and responsible partnerships with patients, advocates, doctors and other health care professionals, and policy makers.

Under Krueger’s direction, MK&A has created a unique niche in global health care through its singular focus on patient engagement and patient advocacy. The firm has demonstrated repeatedly that integration of patient, consumer and professional groups’ viewpoints can create better health care for all. Notable among MK&A’s achievements are the return of thalidomide to legitimate use; registration and approval of 25 orphan drugs; planning and implementation of the largest pre-approval drug access program; resolution of conflicts with industry critics; building internal ally relations capacity from scratch in three global research and development-based pharmaceutical companies; and creation of guidelines and systems that promote equitable and compliant partnerships between industry and allies in North America, Europe, and other regions.

Prior to forming the firm, Krueger was vice president and director of coalition building for GTFH, then the largest public relations, marketing and government relations firm solely dedicated to health and medicine. Previously, he spent six years in a variety of senior management positions at the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), including special assistant to founding co-chair Mathilde Krim, Ph.D.

Krueger is recognized for his comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases, oncology, women’s health, and orphan disorders. He is known for his mediation and moderation skills as well as his understanding of the changing external environment for ally relations and appropriate responses to legislative, regulatory, ally group, and public expectations.

Krueger holds a B.A. from the College of Columbia University and an M.P.H. from Columbia’s Joseph A. Mailman Graduate School of Public Health.

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