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Driving global awareness and acceptance of a new indication in rheumatology

by Sciterion for AbbVie

Summary of work

The launch of a new indication and new treatment licence for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in 2012 created the need for an impactful and sustained global disease educational programme to drive understanding and acceptance of this new condition which imposes a severe burden on patient quality of life. A major challenge, exposed by a global survey (MAXIMA) that surveyed over 1,000 rheumatologists worldwide, 25% more than our anticipated target, was the scepticism among the rheumatology community around the acceptance of nr-axSpA as a legitimate disease and not an industry driven agenda. Successful collaboration with the leading professional association in axial SpA, ASAS (The Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society), and eight leading experts in SpA, particularly Professor Désirée van der Heijde from the Netherlands who led the clinical trials supporting this indication, played a critical role in growing a pool of experts globally. Attendance of over 1300 rheumatologists at global educational meetings over 3 years was secured, reaching the target of over 150 individuals attending a minimum of two meetings a year, which has driven the increased acceptance of nr-axSpA.

Judges comments

This was a good, solid programme with strong, robust methodology, developed following a very extensive piece of research. AbbVie really did their benchmarking, successfully overcame scepticism and the expert mentorship exchange programme was a great idea.


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Highly commended

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View the Communiqué Awards 2014 Photos

Category Sponsors

Catherine Devaney, WE Communications – Communiqué Awards Judge

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2021
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2021
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2021
Awards Ceremony 1st September 2021

Contact information:

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Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243