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Through the looking glass

A medical education case study explains Shire's unique approach when entering the UK ADHD market

Shire entered the UK attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) market in summer 2009. It needed to establish its position in order to differentiate themselves from the competition quickly and effectively. Resolute developed Through the Looking Glass – a high-quality medical education meeting that married creativity, emotion and scientific integrity. Hand-painted artwork; a keynote speaker who would inspire with her account of the child's perspective; and a programme that dealt with real issues affecting ADHD clinicians and patients were aspects of the programme that helped to deliver success for Shire at its inaugural event, which attracted 300 professionals from across the UK.


Hand-painted artwork illustrated a child's perspective on ADHD
Hand-painted artwork illustrated a child's perspective on ADHD


In mid-2009, Shire acquired EQUASYM XL (methylphenidate) for the treatment of childhood ADHD. Although well-established in the ADHD market in the US, Shire had no heritage within the UK ADHD community. Resolute was tasked with developing a high-quality medical education meeting that would establish Shire as a strong committed force in the ADHD market and which addressed the major issues in ADHD service provision in the UK. The meeting should be thought leading and would need to deliver immediate value, but also sustain momentum for Shire in the market, speaking directly to all stakeholder groups.

"To be as brave as the people we help" is Shire's vision. It is all about having the courage to do things differently; to be at the forefront of helping patients. These values were at the heart of the Through the Looking Glass programme. Resolute devised a programme that met the educational needs of the target delegates but also powerfully connected with them both emotionally and rationally, getting to the heart of the issues affecting them and their patients.

A panel of world-renowned experts who would inspire as well as educate the audience – and a highly creative, but thoughtful, meeting theme and hand-painted branding ensured that Shire's meeting stood out.

In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Alice is the only 'normal' character in a seemingly crazy, chaotic world. She is unable to connect with the other characters as her world becomes 'curiouser and curiouser'. Rather than focusing on the ADHD child's 'abnormality', their view of the world was considered – how might it be different from ours? This alternative way of thinking led to: Through the Looking Glass: A Child's Perspective on ADHD.

The programme addressed a mix of scientific and emotional aspects of ADHD. Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company gave the keynote address. She captivated the audience, powerfully reminding them why they chose the career they did – to improve the lives of children.

Over-subscribed and attended by 300 delegates from key specialities, attendees rated the quality of the meeting extremely highly (96 per cent of 194 responded excellent, very good or good) and of particular relevance to their clinical practice (93 per cent). 79 per cent of responders declared that their management of ADHD would change as a result of the meeting.

Client verdict
"Resolute developed a high-quality programme that really delivered on our corporate vision. The theme they created was not just creative. It was thoughtful, meaningful and refreshing – all things we want Shire to be synonymous with."
Cheryl Eubank, senior product manager, Shire

Communiqué Awards 2010
Through the Looking Glass: A Child's Perspective on ADHD was the winner for Best Medical Communications via Meetings or Congresses at the Communiqué Awards 2010.

Case study details

Client: Shire
Agency: Resolute Communications
Campaign: Through the Looking Glass: A Child's Perspective on ADHD
Timescale: December 2009

15th July 2010


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