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The Say Communications Award for Excellence in Integrated Product/Brand Communications sponsored by Say Communications

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Feeling Drained Explained

by firstlight Public Relations for Vifor Pharma UK

Summary of work

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) occurs when the amount of iron being absorbed by the body is less than that being lost through inflammation, malabsorption or blood loss. IDA is common across chronic conditions such as IBD, CHF, CKD and RA. Yet management is often suboptimal, resulting in medical complications and unnecessary hospitalisation.

NHS Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) for IDA purchased by Vifor Pharma UK, which markets IV iron treatment Ferinject (ferric carboxymaltose), highlighted the extent of the problem, including patients who it appeared were not being diagnosed. In collaboration with firstlight Public Relations they turned the data into a campaign, ultimately helping the NHS improve IDA management.

Phased Physician-Payer-Patient activities, with appropriate platforms for each audience, made the case for proactivity. ACT in IDA (Assess, Check, Treat) for healthcare professionals, Ferronomics for Payers and Feeling Drained Explained - education owned by patient representatives. The campaign blended creative tactics, such as bringing back anaemia pioneer Dr John Coakley Lettsom after 200 years, with hard-working tools to help NHS organisations achieve service redesign.

Patients diagnosed with IDA increased significantly during the campaign, allowing appropriate treatment to be given, and the percentage of emergency admissions went down, despite the increasing volume.

Judges' comments

A huge amount of work has obviously gone into this very creative and fun piece of work. It delivered against objectives for each of the three targeted audiences, was well thought through and we liked the involvement of different stakeholders, particularly nurses who are often forgotten.


Improving access to SIRT in the UK - by 90TEN & Denovo Strategy for Sirtex


Feeling Drained Explained - by firstlight Public Relations for Vifor Pharma UK


Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards

Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards
Find out what the chair of judges Anna Korving, senior judges Sarah Matthew and Annabelle Sandeman and previous award winners Paul Tanner, 90TEN and Emma Reynolds, Cohn & Wolfe; have to say on how the judging process works, what the judges focus on, tips on what helps and what distracts within an entry and get insights into how previous winners have created that stand out submission.