Three finalists will slug it out for the $250 million consolidated global media duties of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, say sources.

The review has reportedly been narrowed to MindShare (which already handles some of the business), MediaVest and a team comprising Omnicom Group duo Creative Media and OMD, all in New York.

Out are Optimedia, also in New York, and Initiative Media North America in Los Angeles, incumbents on some of Novartis’s US media duties.

The remaining trio, said one insider, have received “very specific structural questions to answer,” addressing issues such as “tools and systems, medical and trade journal and recruitment advertising.” The triumphant shop is expected to be revealed by the end of the month.

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