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Eisai adds online patient stories to Belviq marketing

Belviq Voices 'online community' will featureweight loss patient experiences

Eisai Belviq Voices lorcaserin obesityEisai has set up an “online community of personal weight loss stories” as part of the marketing efforts behind its obesity brand Belviq (lorcaserin HCl).

Named Belviq Voices, it features patient stories alongside information on obesity, its associated health risks and the need for action.

The company said the community is meant to "inspire and encourage honest, open conversation with physicians".

Frank Ciriello, president of Eisai's global neurology business unit, said: "At Eisai, our patients are our first priority. With obesity rates continuing to escalate across the nation, it is important that patients have the right tools, resources and support to help them lead a healthier lifestyle in a way that works for them.

“Belviq Voices aims to inspire action and encourage conversations among patients and physicians to address obesity, a chronic and progressive disease that needs to be treated." 

Somewhat curiously, although branded by the company as an 'online patient community', Belviq Voices only exists as a microsite within MultiVu.com, a multimedia production group within press release distribution firm PR Newswire. This is despite Eisai's development partner Arena Pharmaceuticals having registered the URL BelviqVoices.com earlier this year.

So, rather than having a standalone community, Eisai has chosen to work with MultiVu to host a series of patient stories in pdf form, downloadable video and information about obesity.

A company spokesman told PMLiVE that Eisai planned to update its Belviq Voices microsite with additional content  throughout 2015.

The company is also hoping that patients on its drug will want to share their own weight loss story and has set up a telephone mailbox for them to do so.

Approved in 2012 Belviq, which activates the 5-HT2C receptor in the brain and is thought to work by increasing feelings of satiety when consuming food, was the first new obesity drug to be licensed in 13 years.

However, it has quickly faced new competition as two other obesity drugs - Takeda's Contrave and Vivus' Qsymia - came to the market not long award Belviq.

To support its brand Eisai doubled the size of Belviq's sales force, launched a new patient savings card last month and now has added this additional element into its online marketing.

26th February 2015

From: Marketing

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