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PMEA case study: Count Me In

How the Humira (adalimumab) campaign won over patients and customers

How Humira (adalimumab) campaign won over patients and customers in 2010How the PMEA award winning Humira (adalimumab) campaign won over patients and customers in 2010.

Humira is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody, active against tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and classified as a biologic response modifier or 'biologic'. Since its launch, Humira has experienced significant growth in each of its licensed indications – rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), plaque psoriasis, Crohn's disease, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and, most recently, ulcerative colitis. But a number of new competitors have launched and established competitors have consolidated their positioning.

In 2010, prescribers were tuning out claims that biologics were differentiated. They saw little reason to choose HUMIRA. AS and PsA are multifaceted systemic disorders affecting the joints, but these diseases can also affect other areas of the body such as the eyes, gut and skin; these are known as 'extraarticular manifestations' (EAMs). Humira's opportunity was to demonstrate its broad range of efficacy in not only treating core disease but also in treating a number of common EAMs. Humira could be positioned as treating the 'whole disease'.

1. Communicate to key stakeholders Humira's key selling point: Humira helps people get on with life; it helps people make plans and feel supported and reassured
2. Capture 60 per cent of new biologic patients
3. Aim to achieve 40 per cent of prescribers regarding Humira as the superior anti-TNF for EAMs and 70 per cent regarding the same in relation to core disease.

Recognition that Humira can help patients play an active role in their world – at work, making and sticking to plans, being able to be spontaneous and to feel empowered – led to the development of a 'whole disease' platform that lived under the creative banner 'Count Me In'. This strategic and creative approach allowed the well-established Humira to focus on winning the emotional battle for customers' hearts and minds, while newer competitors had to vie for attention with clinical data. This new approach allowed Humira to take a positive, dynamic stance to lay claim to the category leadership it sought.

The campaign received input from rheumatologists, key opinion leaders and nurses. Customers and stakeholders were involved in both advisory boards and market research to shape the core campaign. Market research was conducted with prescribers and patients (focusing on the areas of EAMs and core disease) and materials created to demonstrate the incidence of EAMs and HUMIRA's positive impact on these conditions, while treating core AS and PsA disease, were developed in collaboration with nurses and rheumatologists to maximise acceptance and resonance of messaging.

Specifically, materials included a sales aid, EAM poster, a series of nurse booklets for both AS and PsA, a meetings manager, a National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance in PsA 'leave piece', a Count Me In advert, stand panels for use by representatives and an impactful stand that brought the Count Me In idea to life; this was showcased at the British Society for Rheumatology conference. The stand had three sections for attendees to walk through; each one dramatised the patient journey, from suffering with PsA or AS, through to treatment with HUMIRA and, finally, to active participation in life.

All materials combined solid data with patient benefits, making use of patient quotes to bring to life and reflect what healthcare professionals heard in clinic.

The campaign was a cross-functional team effort, comprising expertise and input from marketing, medical affairs, sales and Humira's Healthcare At Home team – a programme whereby a nurse makes house calls on patients taking Humira. The team put into action Humira's three key messages of sustained efficacy, established and effective in multiple indications and patient focus.

• Healthcare at Home focused on the patient and helped with patient initiation and compliance
• The brand team helped develop and deliver messaging to explain clearly how and why Humira was established and effective in multiple indications. Campaign evaluation showed how successful the 'whole disease' strategy was. Healthcare professionals' perception of Humira being effective when helping to treat the whole disease was demonstrated by the target-beating market capture rates: Humira achieved 70 per cent, rather than its goal of 60 per cent, first-line capture.Detailed follow-up market research results also indicated prescriber belief in Humira superiority for treating EAMs and core disease. Humira became first-line or equal first-line prescribing choice for 78 per cent of rheumatologists, 40 percentage points ahead of the competition.

Success for Humira came from challenging the threat of new competitors and the habitual use of more established therapies.

Count Me In has since been used to shape Humira's entire global campaign for the treatment of patients with spondyloarthropathies.

Further materials were subsequently created around the globe using the 'whole disease' message and incorporating the call to action: 'treat the disease, inside and out'.

The Author
Written by Abbott.

See details of Abbott's win in the Brand Marketing Excellence Award at PMEA 2011

Find out how to enter PMEA 2012

24th July 2012


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