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Brand Marketing Excellence Award

Finalist

The Re-Launch of ADVAGRAF

Astellas Transplant in association with Kane & Finkel Healthcare


Summary of work

ADVAGRAF launched in the EU in 2007 as the convenient, once-daily formulation of the cornerstone immunosuppressant PROGRAF. Market research and affiliate insights since revealed that the ADVAGRAF brand needed to provide more clinically meaningful positioning to uncover its true benefit and extend beyond a mere dosing/convenience advantage.

To build on and secure a dominant position in the market, ADVAGRAF was positioned as a different product to PROGRAF, associated with long-term clinical success rather than risk avoidance or mere convenience.

Using a strategic multichannel approach, the team shifted industry conversation to the topic of control of exposure, working to introduce topic-by-topic and claim-by-claim the idea of optimising outcomes by optimising exposure. This repositioned ADVAGRAF to move customer perceptions actively from once-daily dosing as the main differentiator to understanding the clear clinical advantages of ADVAGRAF that make it the cornerstone of modern regimens.

ADVAGRAF achieved consistent uptick in market share versus PROGRAF. Market research, advisory boards and anecdotal reports from affiliates and sales reps indicated significant uptake by prescribers of the basic clinical message of the importance of controlling exposure.

Judges comments

“This effectively repositioned the brand enabling it to reach its full potential. It leveraged evidence of long-term clinical benefits. A rigorously developed and well executed, layered, multi-channel approach – an example of an effective and sophisticated review and revision of clinical opinion. In terms of strategy it extends patent life and is a good example of strong defensive marketing using a very strong message.”

Stakeholder comments

“As a former transplant physician, I looked critically at the initial promotional campaign for ADVAGRAF and discussed it with physicians currently working in the field of transplantation. There was a feeling that some physicians were not convinced that there was any clinical advantage of a once-daily tacrolimus. They admitted that non-adherence may be a persistent issue, but it was not enough of a problem to alter established protocols. The real issue going forwards in transplantation is improving long-term outcomes through optimised control of immunosuppression. Transplant physicians I have spoken to feel that these new messages reflect this clinical reality and are much more relevant to their daily practice.”
Senior Director, Medico Marketing, Astellas