Donna K. Ramer

Chief Strategist


Donna Ramer, who was named one of the 2009 PharmaVOICE 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Sciences and one of PR Week’s Top 50 Healthcare Agency Executives, is an award-winning communications specialist with 30+ years creating strategic plans, issues/crisis management, speaker bureau and communications training across all industries, most notably in the healthcare and non-profit sectors.

Highlights of Donna’s career to date include but are not limited to the following.

  • PEPCID AC Rx-to-OTC Switch: Led the PR agency team on the product launch and early stages of approval as an OTC product.

  • Plan B: Worked with Pace, Plan B’s advertising agency, to review all copy and graphics to help minimize the risk of offense and controversy. 

  • Girls Scouts of the USA: For more than five years, Donna was senior counselor to GSUSA on all issues and crisis management, often creating messages and communiqués to girls and their parent/guardians regarding sensitive (e.g. sex-related) issues. 

  • ALDARA/imiquimod 3M Pharmaceuticals’ immune response modifier for treatment of external warts caused by HPV: Led communications team for launch of Aldara for external genital warts, which exceeded one-year sales goals in nine months. In addition to media relations and a college program via the American College Health Association, created an awards program to help reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, titled Innovations in STD Education: Community Based Programs that Work, sponsored by 3M Pharmaceuticals with a Washington, D.C. roundtable of award winners moderated by former Planned Parenthood president Faye Wattleton. Post-launch program secured dedication of that year’s STD Awareness Month (American Social Health Association) of external genital warts and included PSA, SMT and other media relations.  Developed/supervise execution of high-visibility programs to generate print and electronic coverage for physician, nurse, PA and consumer audiences; gain support of advocacy and government groups; and create internal messages and materials for pre-, launch and post-launch programs during FDA advisory committee recommendations/approvals for Aldara.

  • Stayfree Ultra Thin: Created successful launch campaign for (J&J) Personal Product Company’s Stayfree Ultra Thin (then: Ultra Plus) against negative reviews of the product launch in Canada six months prior to the U.S. launch.  Other problems: The attributes that make the product unique (sphagnum core) also presented obstacles to its success in the marketplace; the articles about the launch in Canada misled the consumer and trade and were speculative about the product.  The launch was touted by the company as one of its most effective public relations launch campaigns at the time because it resulted in: key influencers publicly accepting the product as a technological advance in women’s health and hygiene products; positive articles in trade publications following one-on-one meetings with key company spokespeople that excited retailers who rejected efforts by competitive reps to keep the product off the shelves.

  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (Ortho McNeil): Senior counsel/supervisor for the public relations (agency) component of 2002/2003 FDA approval and product launch of OTCLo to establish this new 25 mcg oral contraceptive as optimal dose and OC of choice.  Launch was complicated by pending approval of Seasonale, the first extended-cycle OC.

  • Other below-the-belt products for which she developed communications plans include: Ortho-McNeil’s Elmiron for interstitial cystitis and Ditropan XL for overactive bladder; and J&J’s Personal Products’ Serenity incontinence pads.


Donna’s issues/crisis management experience includes the following.

  • Created the crisis communications module for training senior executives of all Kyowa Hakko Kirin’s pharma companies worldwide, which was translated into Japanese.

  • Managed issues and advocacy group relations for Kyowa Pharmaceutical Inc. (KPI), the Princeton-based U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of Kyowa Hakko Kirin; was the company’s liaison with patient advocacy groups and media; managed the media training of the executive committee; and created a comprehensive issues management plan to ensure the company was well positioned should other issues arise. 

  • Led the communications team for the FDA approval of the health claim for soy protein for DuPont’s Protein Technologies International (now Solae) that included leading communications for a consortium of soy product manufacturers during a 20/20 (ABC-TV) investigative report.  The health claim was of particular interest to consumer groups due to Europe’s first Mad Cow and “Frankenfood” scares. The program – “Soy: The Heart of the Matter” – received CIPRA and PRSA Big Apple awards.

  • To complement the risk management plan for Celgene’s THALOMID (thalidomide), Donna and her team developed corporate and product-specific programs to help bring the product to market and turn around highly negative public perception by mobilizing third-party advocates and spokesdoctors to enhance message credibility and product acceptance.  She maintained positive public perception of the company and its flagship product as research is completed on new indications for THALOMID® and THALOMID® derivatives by reaching all of the company’s publics: patients, families and caretakers to advocacy groups, healthcare providers, industry and financial analysts, and government agencies.