Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

The GSW Worldwide Marketing Team of the Year Award

Winner

Iressa Team

AstraZeneca UK


Summary of work

Winner: AstraZeneca UK

Although over 32,000 people are diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) each year, until 2009 there was no UK national provision for EGFR gene testing. Approximately 70 per cent of patients with NSCLC, whose tumours are epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation positive, respond to first line treatment with gefitinib (lressa). Although gefitinib is licensed for the treatment of NSCLC patients with the EGFR mutation, patients could only benefit from this therapy option if their positive mutation status had been confirmed through EGFR testing.

AstraZeneca UK recognised that the value of routine EGFR testing needed to be communicated to the wider healthcare professional community to ensure that it was embedded sustainably in the NHS to help improve patient outcomes.

Having identified the need for education among oncologists, chest physicians and other members of the multidisciplinary team – to gain their support for EGFR testing helping them to refer eligible patients for testing these customer needs – AstraZeneca UK collaborated with recognised experts in the field to deliver a customer-focused programme to establish a national EGFR genetic testing network in partnership with the NHS.

The result was a national EGFR testing service, with 18 laboratories conducting tests by the end of December 2010. The programme heralded a sea change in the delivery of personalised medicine in lung cancer and a shift in healthcare professional behaviour was recorded, with 9 out of 1O oncologists testing for EGFR by December 2010, compared with 3 out of 10 oncologists in July 2009

Critically, the programme secured a long-term change in NHS practice by developing the infrastructure for EGFR testing.

Judges comments

“For me this ticks all the boxes. It engaged a multi-disciplinary group, showed clear evidence of behaviourial change and was very well executed. This is a really good example of a company doing the right thing. It’s a classic case of why the industry makes such a brilliant contribution to healthcare.”

Finalists

Humira - Abbott

Regaine - McNeil Healthcare (UK) Limited

Vidaza - Celgene