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Eisai, Tonic and the Cancer Drugs Fund - A bold and brave media relations campaign

by Tonic for Eisai

Summary of work

In December 2014, NHS England warned Eisai and several other companies that the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) would be rationed, and up to a third of treatments might be removed. Halaven (eribulin), a treatment indicated for women with advanced breast cancer, would be one of the treatments that would be removed from the CDF. Decision-makers refused to negotiate with Eisai to enable the continued availability of Halaven. With its agency Tonic, Eisai developed and delivered a disruptive, innovative and creative media campaign designed to put pressure on decision-makers and ultimately lead to a reversal in the decision. Media outlets would be specifically targeted based on the audiences they reached, with policymakers and healthcare professionals a priority. Eisai spearheaded a fight against the rationing of life-extending cancer treatments, catapulting this previously little-known pharmaceutical company into the media spotlight and forcing NHS England to rethink its position on pricing negotiations with Eisai. The campaign led to a highly significant outcome - NHS England reversed its original decision and Halaven has remained available to patients, giving them access to life-extending treatment and more precious time with their loved ones.

Judges' comments

We agree that Eisai and Tonic really did put together a bold and brave campaign with a radical and high risk strategy that delivered excellent results. We saw some great media relations work demonstrated as they tried something that was really different amongst the CDF campaigns and stood out as a result.



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Category Sponsors

Jon Pike, Mearns & Pike - Communiqué 2020 winner

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2022
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2022
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2022
Awards Ceremony 7th July 2022

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