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Experience = innovation

Medical education case study: Reflecting on the milestones made in HIV care and discussing future challenges facing HIV-positive patients

Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996 the prognosis of HIV-infected individuals has improved dramatically. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has been making significant contributions to the management of HIV-infected patients for the last 10 years. For them, recognising and reflecting on this milestone was important both from a company perspective but also from the point of view of the many patients that are being successfully treated. It also gave the opportunity to discuss potential future challenges facing HIV-positive patients and their doctors over the next 10 years.

 

The 'Evolution' logo
The campaign reflected on the past contribution of BMS' products to HIV care and their continued success in coming years

 

Objectives
• Develop an interactive, forward-looking medical education programme to mark the contribution BMS has made to HIV care over the past decade
• Facilitate a greater understanding of the considerations needed when initiating or switching a patient to/from a HAART regimen
• Provide HIV-treating physicians the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas on the management of HIV in the next 10 years with their European peers
• Achieve consensus on the key issues facing European HIV clinicians and patients over the coming decade
• Ensure the programme content and materials are robust and flexible, to meet the needs of the BMS affiliates across Europe.

Tactics
In order to reference the past contributions of BMS' products to HIV care and their continued success in the coming years, the programme was named EVOLUT10N: A decade of experience, a future of innovation.

To launch the programme, a two-day, stand-alone symposium was held in Barcelona. The meeting had a faculty of eight global opinion leaders and a format that combined plenary sessions, pan-European and country-specific breakouts, and audience/faculty debates.

In addition, an HIV-positive patient spoke about the challenges he had faced over the last 10 years and his hopes for the future.

By combining an interactive framework with such a world-renowned faculty the 300 clinicians were given the opportunity to review the current approaches to the management of patients living with HIV, and predict future challenges to impact Europe over the coming 10 years.

While plenary sessions were an essential part of the programme, it was important that this meeting was seen as an experience-exchange opportunity for clinicians across Europe. In order to achieve this outcome the majority of the programme was dedicated to interactive, local language-supported workshops with both moderators and facilitators to encourage universal participation.

At all times, patients were kept front of mind with tolerability, pill count and regimen simplification highlighted by the speakers over the course of the two days.

Results
Over 300 clinicians attended the meeting and were asked to complete a post-meeting evaluation survey. The following percentages refer to a grading of good, very good or excellent:
- Presentations: 90 per cent
- Workshops: 91 per cent
- Scientific/educational: 90 per cent
- Overall: 93 per cent

Consensus was reached on what would be the key future issues across Europe:
• Delegates from France and Spain identified changes to guidelines as one of the top issues needing to be addressed
• Delegates from France, Italy, Spain and UK agreed there was a need to increase HIV-screening programmes similar to those of cancer and cardiovascular disease
• Delegates from the UK identified the cost of treating HIV-positive patients will be a major factor to consider in the future.

Evaluation
"I keep receiving extremely positive feedback from both external and internal customers, and I must admit I feel proud of it. Beyond your high professionalism I have really enjoyed working with all of you."
Associate director, marketing & brand commercialisation virology, BMS EMEA

Following the success of the stand-alone meeting, a European-wide rollout programme was initiated and affiliates are furthering the communication cascade by holding sales force-led meetings in their local areas.

 

Case study details

Client: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Agency: Ketchum Pleon 
Campaign: EVOLUT10N: A decade of experience, a future of innovation
Timescale: June 2009 and across Europe throughout 2009 and early 2010

6th May 2010

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