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Excellence in Rare Diseases and Orphan Drugs

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Highly Commended

Improving Patient Outcomes in Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma (mMCC)

by Merck with support from Method


Summary of work

The introduction of Merck and Pfizer’s Bavencio (avelumab) was an important advance for adults with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC), a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer that affects 0.1 to 0.2 per 100,000 of the population. Treatment options had been historically limited to chemotherapy in metastatic disease, offering patients short-lived responses and recurrences typically within four to 15 months of treatment.

Our strategy was to use stakeholder insights to drive educational communications to improve early and appropriate biopsy, referral and diagnosis of people with MCC. Once diagnosed, we encouraged regular and vigilant follow-up to ensure metastatic disease (mMCC) could be identified at the earliest possible stage – the point at which Bavencio is most likely to provide optimal outcomes for patients and the healthcare system.

Starting January 2019, we executed an educational campaign to inform relevant specialties involved in non-specialist and specialist skin cancer MDTs. This was supported by the communication of expert opinion and sharing of real-world experiences to help improve understanding of the disease and its treatment.

As a result, 51 patients with mMCC have now been treated with Bavencio to give them the chance of improved outcomes, delivering meaningful improvements to patients and their families, and benefits to UK healthcare systems.

Judges' comments

This entry from Merck and method is a well thought through and well researched campaign. It has robust research analysis and insight, along with clear and well defined objectives. Focusing on a pathway hurdle, they were able to both support mMCC patients, but also their brand.


Winner

Greater than the Sum of its Parts - by Jazz Pharmaceuticals


Highly commended


Finalists

INSPIRE: Improving Outcomes in Paediatric Cardiology - by AbbVie with support from Lucid Group

Palmoplantar Pustulosis Augmented Reality Tool - by Boehringer Ingelheim with support from OPEN Health

RAREfest - by Cambridge Rare Disease Network with support from Havas Life Medicom

Chronicity in Acute Times: Cablivi Access Challenge - by Sanofi Genzyme


Key dates

Entry deadline 27 August 2020
Extended entry deadline 3 September 2020*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 1 October 2020
Company of the Year Interviews 22 October 2020
PMEA Event 25 November 2020