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STEPs to fight infection

Medical education case study: engaging and educating physicians on the appropriate use of Tygacil

Complete HealthVizion, in partnership with Wyeth, created and continues to implement the STEP programme (progress in infection) – an innovative series of integrated activities that provides a forum to discuss issues in serious infection and share Tygacil (tigecycline) clinical experience with specialists across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Canada (EMEA-C).

Tygacil is a powerful first-in-class antibiotic with a unique broad spectrum of activity. Tygacil is also one of a few new antibiotics introduced in recent years, and there was limited hands-on experience of Tygacil in the EMEA-C regions following its launch. Wyeth therefore needed to engage and educate physicians on the appropriate use of Tygacil in the challenging populations of critically ill patients with intra-abdominal and skin and soft tissue infections.

The multi-faceted STEP programme provided a range of innovative, interactive and educational platforms to enable physicians to share their Tygacil clinical experience with colleagues using real-life case studies – the activation of evidence.

The strategy
Working closely with its clients at Wyeth, Complete HealthVizion agreed that any approach had to have three core elements:
1. To be scientifically credible and engage international experts to ensure integrity and reach.
2. To educate physicians on the day-to-day practicalities of using Tygacil.
3. To be enduring and have the ability to evolve and grow to meet the needs of physicians as they gain experience.


The 'STEP' logo
The series of integrated activities provided a forum to discuss issues in serious infection


The first stage was to establish the scope of STEP in terms of target audience, communication channels and degree of expert input. A strong visual identity was fundamental to the successful launch and implementation of STEP, ensuring ownership by Wyeth and providing a positive and powerful visual voice for our target audience.

A multidisciplinary STEP Steering Committee was established to help shape and drive the programme as it rolled out across different regions and markets. Part of the steering committee's remit was to ensure that the educational components of STEP were adaptable and relevant to the current issues faced by physicians in individual countries, and that clinicians' own real-world experience of Tygacil was leveraged using a variety of communication outlets.

A key to the ongoing success for STEP has been the combination of highly engaging and interactive standalone meetings (featuring case study-based workshops, panel discussions and keypad-driven debates) combined with local preceptorships and a growing library of enduring digital materials derived from the standalone content. Local roll-out using these activities and materials, in association with online advisory boards and an effective speaker bureau, has allowed the audience to expand exponentially.

The STEP standalone meetings offer delegates opportunities to tailor the meeting to meet their specific needs, by choosing specific sessions from a range of parallel workshops, and thereby receive personalised education.

The STEP CME-accredited preceptorships provide a case-driven, patient-focused series of meetings that enable the local roll-out of STEP. Each preceptorship host is encouraged to share best practice, which has not only increased awareness of STEP but also resulted in physicians requesting to hold preceptorship meetings at their centres.

Results and evaluation
STEP has been a huge success since its launch over two years ago, with increasing numbers of physicians in the EMEA-C region gaining positive clinical experience of Tygacil. As STEP has been so successful in engaging clinicians throughout EMEA-C, it has now been adopted globally as the key promotional platform for Tygacil, with meetings planned in Latin America and Asia-Pacific. The STEP programme continues to operate successfully alongside local Tygacil launch campaigns, providing an invaluable and flexible platform for local market adaptation.

STEP has also been an effective forum for wider discussions concerning appropriate antibiotic use and the undesirable consequences of antibiotic misuse, as well as issues relevant to particular regions. The growing support from international experts has further validated the importance of STEP and the benefits the programme offers to physicians and patients.

As hoped, the success of STEP continues to build and gain momentum, providing a strongly branded template for the future success of the programme.


Case study details

Client: Wyeth Europa
Agency: Complete HealthVizion
Campaign: STEP: Sharing Tygacil Experience Programme
Timescale: 2007 to present

20th May 2010


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