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Case study: Treatment guidance

Developing a practical guide to using an osteosarcoma treatment

Published: 20 Nov 2014

A practical guide to using mepact

Client: Takeda UK

Agency: Liberation Communications

Campaign: A Practical Guide to using Mepact (mifamurtide)

Timescale: March 2012 – February 2013

A quick look

Takeda UK often received requests from HCPs for guidance and support on the practicalities of using mifamurtide for the treatment of osteosarcoma. This was due to the fact that the administration of mifamurtide requires careful planning and patients require monitoring during and for a short while after their infusion. In addition, the disease is rare, meaning HCPs involved in the treatment of osteosarcoma rarely see patients suitable for treatment.

Takeda UK wanted to support HCPs by providing a simple Practical Guide that enabled them to administer mifamurtide confidently and effectively. Since the introduction of the Guide, HCPs have become confident in using mifamurtide and it is now a standard of care in the majority of centres.

This campaign is a finalist in the category The LionsDen Award for Writing Excellence - Healthcare Professionals at the Communiqué Awards 2014.


Mifamurtide is a treatment for children, adolescents and young adults with a rare type of bone cancer, osteosarcoma. When launched in 2009 it was the first new treatment for this condition in more than 20 years.

Mifamurtide was granted orphan medicinal product status by the European Commission as osteosarcoma affects less than 1 per 10,000 individuals in the EU. Although NICE and the SMC had given positive opinions, UK experience of mifamurtide was limited.

It was at the request of the osteosarcoma community that a ‘Mepact Practical Guide’ was developed. The administration of mifamurtide requires careful planning and patients require monitoring during and shortly after their infusion. Due to the rarity of the disease, HCPs involved in the treatment of osteosarcoma rarely see patients suitable for treatment with mifamurtide meaning the details of the process involved using the medicine are not always easily recalled and support is often requested.


A working group of HCPs with the most experience of using mifamurtide was set up to share their experiences and outline key stages of the treatment pathway which needed to be communicated to other HCPs. Any practical or clinical issues when treating patients with mifamurtide were discussed along with solutions to overcome them.

Once the basic content of the Practical Guide was agreed, a webcast took place with a core group of HCPs from the working group to gain feedback on format and flow.

The Practical Guide was launched as part of a Takeda sponsored symposium at the British Sarcoma Group’s annual conference. The symposium covered many of the aspects included within the guide and included addresses from clinicians with first-hand experience of using mifamurtide in clinical practice and the Practical Guide was launched.

Takeda’s KAM team distributed the guide to HCPs throughout the UK and at the British Oncology Pharmacy Association annual conference.


The ‘Mepact Practical Guide’ was distributed to 100 per cent of osteosarcoma treating centres, with mifamurtide now being prescribed in 92 per cent of them.

Mifamurtide is now a standard of care in non-metastatic, resectable osteosarcoma in the UK. It has also been included in three NICE innovation scorecard reports, demonstrating the value that mifamurtide brings to patients in England and Wales.

Following the success in the UK, the Practical Guide has been requested by a number of the European Takeda local operating companies with the intention of producing their own local, translated versions.

Client verdict

“The nature of this disease means that there is a relatively small prescribing community with busy schedules. Getting the working group together to undertake this project was quite a feat utilising various communication channels. The agency steered the working group and the limited Takeda resource and budget with professionalism and speed to ensure the Practical Guide was developed effectively and concisely.”
Emma Roffe, medical manager, Takeda, UK

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