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Orphan Drug Award

Highly Commended

Changing the HAE treatment paradigm

Shire HGT and Sudler & Hennessey


Summary of work

Working in an orphan space gives unparalleled access to both specialists treating the disease and patients suffering from it.
 
In a disease such as hereditary angioedema characterised by painful, unpredictable and potentially fatal swelling attacks, time to administration should have been first and foremost on everyone’s mind. However, as an orphan disease where the most recent treatment was introduced 35 years ago, both patients and specialists had learned to accept a situation where just having a treatment that worked was a blessing.
 
In this very satisfied market, patients and healthcare professionals did not question whether current treatments had shortcomings. They failed to see the obvious downside associated with the need to go to hospital for treatment, which included the lottery of not knowing whether or not the hospital would accept the word of a patient who had a condition hospital staff may not even have heard of, and whether the hospital had the unusual, plasma-derived treatment in stock.
 
Changing the paradigm meant that patients now carry their treatment with them and so only require a healthcare professional to administer a simple subcutaneous injection. This has made many patients’ lives much more tolerable.
 
The Sub Cut Speed campaign resonated across all markets in Europe and changed the treatment model, increasing the value of the market and leading to a major upturn in sales and an over-performance against target.

Judges comments

“With strong positioning against the competition, this campaign was built on understanding of consumers/customers and, as a result, empowered patients through the website and self-possession leave piece, which improved patient expectations overall. High levels of insights into the needs of individuals and prescribers led to a change in the marketing and communications approach to the campaign.”