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At the touch of a button

Raising awareness of needle-free post operative pain relief

The rapid and effective recovery of patients having undergone major surgery is partially dependent on adequate post-operative pain relief. The first intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA) pumps were introduced in the early 1980s and were hailed as a major breakthrough. However, there are some major drawbacks with these systems.

IV PCA requires an intravenous line and pump to administer the analgesic and this severely restricts free movement of the patient. A decreased ability to move around freely has been shown to significantly lengthen a patient's recovery time. In addition, the IV PCA pumps take up valuable nurse time. The nurses are required to set up the intravenous line and pump correctly then check they are working at regular intervals.

IonsysTM (Janssen-Cilag) represents a major advance in acute moderate to severe post-operative pain management. It is an innovative, credit-card sized, patient activated, needle-free system that uses a low intensity electrical impulse to actively transport measured doses of fentanyl through the skin and into the bloodstream.

 

A media audit ensured a targeted media
A media audit ensured a targeted media launch strategy

 

Objectives
• Within two months of launch to have secured 10 pieces of media coverage in target medical publications that each include at least two key messages
• To facilitate awareness among UK Janssen-Cilag staff of the launch of IonsysTM and the real benefit it offers patients
• To generate awareness and interest among anaesthetists attending the Association of Anaesthetists Winter meeting and drive attendance to the Janssen-Cilag non-promotional educational satellite meeting.

Tactics
Understanding media audiences: A media audit was performed to develop a targeted media launch strategy and, in light of the small number of relevant publications, set realistic media objectives for launch.

'Save-the-date' HTML e-mail media alert:
The launch for IonsysTM was scheduled for the first week of January and Packer Forbes was keen to alert target medical journalists to the fact that there was news arriving early in the New Year and to 'save-the-date.' An HTML email was developed and mailed during the week before the Christmas break. Follow-up calls ensured the email had been received and provided an opportunity for early engagement with journalists (under embargo) on the IonsysTM story.

Gathering confident spokespeople:
Media training and message familiarisation sessions were held in the pre-launch period for four spokespeople: an anaesthetist, a specialist nurse, a hospital pharmacist and an internal Janssen-Cilag spokesperson.

Establishing a well-resourced press office:
A factual but compelling set of media materials was written in-house and comprised a press release, visuals sheet and two supporting fact sheets. A comprehensive internal Q&A was developed to ensure consistent messaging by all internal personnel, including the sales force.

Ensuring factually correct reporting:
Following on from the HTML alert email, Packer Forbes set up five face-to-face interviews (under embargo) with target medical journalists. This was an opportunity for the journalist to meet with two launch media spokespeople and ask any questions they might have about the drawbacks of the current IV PCA system for post-operative acute pain and the potential advantages for patients of IonsysTM.

Encouraging internal Janssen-Cilag support for launch:
The 'save the date' HTML email was adapted to incorporate subtle IonsysTM branding; copy that highlighted the benefits it offers to patients in addition to acknowledging the work of Janssen-Cilag employees in bringing IonsysTM to market.

Generating face-to-face awareness and enthusiasm:
Packer Forbes was asked to generate increased awareness of IonsysTM and also drive attendance to the non-promotional educational satellite event among delegates attending the Association of Anaesthetists Winter Scientific meeting. A promotional Z-card was written and designed to an IonsysTM, credit-card sized scale; adhered to an A5 backing card and inserted into the delegate bags as well as being issued on the Janssen-Cilag exhibition stand at the meeting. Non-promotional materials were also created to drive attendance to the satellite meeting.

Results
• Within one week of launch, 12 pieces of coverage were generated; four were the direct result of one-to-one briefings. In total 16 pieces of coverage were achieved
• Positive anecdotal feedback from Janssen-Cilag staff was received in response to the internal HTML email
• The Janssen-Cilag educational satellite symposium had standing room only.

Evaluation
The targeted media launch reached an audience of over 3.5 million people. One hundred per cent of the coverage included at least two key messages and all were positive in tone. Accurate and positive coverage in the pharmacy and anaesthesia trade press and the Z-card activity at the Association meeting enabled the Janssen-Cilag field force to engage easily with hospital formulary pharmacists and anaesthetists regarding the appropriate use of IonsysTM and the process for its inclusion on hospital formularies.

 

Case study details

Client: Janssen-Cilag
Agency: Packer Forbes Communications
Campaign: "Pain Relief at the Touch of a Button" – an integrated launch for IonsysTM
Timescale: December 2007 to January 2008

4th February 2010

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