Pharmaceutical/Biotech Company of the Year

Fred Hassan, our Trailblazer Lifetime Award winner, once ascribed “the spectacular success story” of Genentech to the company’s focus on long-term investment, in particular its willingness to do the fundamental R&D necessary for true innovation. This has resulted in what he termed an “unprecedented flow of biotech innovations” from the company, including drugs such as Herceptin and Avastin, which have revolutionized the treatment of cancer.

This flow of innovation is still going strong. Recently, three new Genentech cancer drugs received FDA approval in less than 12 months; a fourth is awaiting word from the FDA. The beauty is that these drugs are not only designed to fight cancer, but also to work together with other drugs for a greater therapeutic effect. Here’s a brief rundown:

Perjeta is a breast cancer drug designed to complement Genentech’s groundbreaking Herceptin, creating a combination that works better than either does separately.

Zelboraf is the first and only FDA-approved personalized drug for a mutated form of melanoma, the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer.

Erivedge is the first FDA-approved drug for advanced forms of common skin cancer.

T-DM1 is a new kind of drug—an “antibody-drug conjugate,” or pairing of drug and antibody. The antibody attaches to a receptor on the cancer cell and the drug penetrates and destroys the cell. T-DM1 is awaiting FDA approval.

Those are just the cancer drugs. Genentech’s eye drug Lucentis was just FDA approved to restore lost vision in diabetic patients. And in May, Genentech partnered with the NIH and the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to launch a five-year, $100 million groundbreaking study to test a drug for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

How do they do it? Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, describes itself as committed to patients, science and people. Their investment in people is as impressive as their investment in science. Few companies are able to attract gifted employees the way they do. Genentech has been ranked among the top three employers in the biopharmaceutical industry by Science magazine for 11 years in a row, named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine for the 14th consecutive year, and named one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for the 19th time. And once new employees are hired, few companies focus with such intensity on their education and training. Genentech offers training in every commercial aspect of the business, including marketing, leadership, technology and science.

Genentech applies the same methods to marketing it uses in product innovation—a new idea followed by testing and evaluation. Under the “GoToMarket” program, marketers create pilot programs to test new marketing and sales techniques. Under the “Expert on Demand” program, for example, experts in the relevant science or company policy are available to Genentech representatives and customers on iPad to provide immediate support. Another, “Institutional Partnering,” explores options for partnerships with institutions such as universities whose policies limit corporate contact. Central to these innovations, however, is a very traditional focus on building long-term customer relationships through one-on-one relationships with highly trained and knowledgeable company representatives.

It’s not hard to appreciate the value to patients of a revolution in cancer treatment or a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But Genentech’s commitment to patients is also manifested by its commitment to patient access. In 2011, the company helped more than 100,000 patients with access issues and provided free drugs to over 40,000 uninsured patients worth nearly $600 million. Whether this is innovative or not, it reminds us that at Genentech the ultimate goal of all innovation is the patient—which is as it should be.

Siemens Healthcare

Medical Device

This is the “Cardiac” Winner from Siemen’s 2011 CT Image Contest. This entrant from the U.K. is a pre-surgery CT image of a three-day-old baby in which the main pulmonary artery and its proximal branches were grossly dilated.

A company is known by the contributions it makes to society. Siemens Healthcare is a pioneer and trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics and medical information technology. At the forefront of medical innovation since 1877, the company is most widely recognized for the creation of increasingly powerful medical imaging systems— windows into the brain and body. In 2011, Siemens Healthcare won the Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation for the Biograph mMR, the first scanner capable of acquiring whole-body PET and MRI data simultaneously. Among its many uses, the technology holds promise for revealing insights into the mysteries of the human brain. In another example of innovation, Siemens’ new neuroimaging techniques promise, for the first time, to enable us to see the plaque deposits that are the signature of Alzheimer’s disease—the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., which costs Americans $183 billion annually.

While Siemens Healthcare produces world-class medical technology, it also delivers those products to customers in unique and innovative ways. For example, to engage healthcare professionals and the general public alike, Siemens introduced the International CT Image Contest. Last year, more than 160 medical centers from 43 countries submitted over 600 spectacular computed tomography (CT) images and videos. The winners, selected by a jury of experts, were displayed not only at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, but also on Siemens’ Facebook page (www., click “video” at the bottom). This page received 40,000 hits in eight months. Visitors could also vote for their favorite.

Here are more category winners from Siemen’s 2011 CT Image Contest. The “Pediatric” Winner (left) submitted from France is of a 13-month-old baby in respiratory distress. The “Dual Energy” Winner (middle) submitted from Singapore shows a scan taken after an endovascular aortic repair and stent implantation. The “Routine” Winner (right) submitted from P. R. China shows soft tissue lesion in the distal segment of the ileum.

Siemens’ capacity to engage their customers is also on display via their sponsorship of the “Healthworks Collective” (, an active, accessible and handsomely produced online community for thought leaders in international healthcare. But, for consumers, the most familiar examples of Siemens’ marketing skill are perhaps the highly regarded “Somewhere in America: Healthcare” commercials (e.g., VidCom), which effectively connect the hightech to the human.

The Trailblazer Award is only given to companies with strong credentials for social responsibility and talent cultivation. Siemens’ laser-like focus on cultivating tomorrow’s scientists and business leaders spans both these areas. It starts in elementary and middle school, where Siemens’ “We Can Change the World Challenge” rewards student environmental projects; continues through high school, with an array of educational initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and finally to college, where Siemens has awarded over $1.25 million in scholarships to medical laboratory students. That focus on talent cultivation continues within Siemens. The Hay Group, a global consulting firm that annually ranks companies across the globe according to how they develop their leaders, placed Siemens in the top 20 for the last two years.

When it comes to social responsibility, Siemens Healthcare draws on the leadership of its parent company, which is the world’s largest provider of environmental technologies. Around 40% of its total revenue stems from “green” products. Just this September, Siemens was No. 1 in its industry on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fifth year in a row and, in fact, No. 1 in the entire “Industrial Goods and Services” supersector. Siemens recently created a new division solely to focus on the growing “Sustainable Cities” market.

Siemens defines itself this way: “To be a pioneer—this is our vision, our identity and the defining characteristic of our corporate culture.” That’s what the Trailblazer Awards are all about.

Klick Health

Advertising Agency

The Klick Health Senior Leadership Team.

With 280 employees and a 15-year history, Klick Health has accomplished big things. Klick is one of the world’s largest independent full-service digital healthcare agencies, serving clients throughout North America. Based in Toronto, with offices in New York and Chicago, Klick is the sole recipient of the triple crown of Canada’s most recognized awards: Best Employer, Best Managed Company and Fastest Growing Technology Company in North America.

Klick’s growth is driven by their focus on people, data and orchestration. By building a center of gravity for talent and a culture that supports high performers, Klick has assembled the most senior team of digital health experts, with the lowest turnover rates in the industry.

Klick employees getting a little silly in the photo booth at our most recent company event.

Because Klick Health is independent, they’re able to make long-term investments in their people and in innovation. Innovation is sparked by high-functioning, multidisciplinary teams that are given the latitude to explore. Combine that spirit of innovation with an intense dedication to service, a rigorous approach to data, and a commitment to results, and it’s no surprise that Klick has grown by over 30% per year consistently for 15 years.

Among their milestones in 2012, this past April Klick launched iCONNECT, a suite of eight iPad apps that drive sales force effectiveness and enhance the way sales teams communicate and engage with healthcare professionals. iCONNECT is designed to meet the daily challenges of field sales forces by institutionalizing the habits of an organization’s best reps and putting them in the hands of the full team. iCONNECT’s message—“make every rep as good as your best rep”—resonates strongly with healthcare field forces across North America. The iCONNECT platform has shown high engagement, with clients reporting HCP meetings up to 10 minutes longer using the platform. Our judges agreed that “Klick has truly embraced the mobile environment.”

Clients follow the talent, so Klick Health’s focus on people is key to their success and ongoing growth. Being a center of gravity for talent means developing a workplace and culture that supports high performers and lets them focus on their craft. With almost 20 former managing directors currently on staff, Klick has demonstrated an ability to attract and retain highly experienced top performers who want to get back to creating. By using technology to do the heavy lifting, Klick Health has eliminated most layers of management, leaving a team that’s empowered and focused on their clients.

One of the keys to Klick’s success is its emphasis on orchestration. It’s one thing to come up with an amazing plan. Consistently delivering on time and on budget in complex multivendor, multi-platform environments is a whole other skill. It’s a skill that separates Klick Health from most in the industry. Klick is designed to orchestrate, with the tools and systems built right in to its operating system.

Beyond their commitment to their client’s work, Klick’s commitment to social responsibility is demonstrated through the many grassroots causes they support every year. Contributions to charities have totaled $1.5 M, with donations to scores of nonprofit organizations such as Caring Voices, Ride for Heart, Red Cross Haiti Relief & Japan Earthquake Relief Funds and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2008, the Klick Foundation was launched to coordinate charitable endeavors, donating time, money and in-kind support, as well as establishing longstanding charitable partnerships.

Recently Klick created “Klick it Forward,” which allows employees to earn funds through positive client work performance. Klick employees have donated over 6,398 animals to families that truly need them.

Klick Health’s 15-year rise is just the beginning. With their sights set on nothing less than shaping the future of digital health, Klick is hungrier than ever to help their clients really move the needle on their business.

eHealthcare Solutions



October 2012 WIG meeting (from left to right): Robert Carmignani, EVP, Sales & Marketing; Marisa Allen, Team Leader, Campaign Management; Jo Elynn Cook, Director of Marketing; Spenta Bharda, Finance Assistant; Mike Koller, VP Finance; R.J. Lewis, President & CEO.
The solutions-focused, premium advertising network specializing in the digital healthcare marketplace exclusively represents the advertising, sponsorship, email and mobile opportunities of more than 75 of the leading healthcare professional societies, associations, and media companies; consumer health sites; and other quality digital partners in the pharmaceutical/healthcare vertical. For these clients, the company delivers high-value exposure to, and engagement with, target audiences across the many niches of healthcare.

“Transformational” and “client directed”—that is how our judges summed up eHealthcare Solutions’ (EHS) winning application. There is no question that EHS is a company that caters to its clients.


EHS is not a typical ad network. A basic ad network offers the benefits of strong audience reach through a single point of contact as well as campaign targeting and optimization. EHS offers that and more by providing 100% transparency and advertiser control for campaigns that appear among high-quality content and get delivered using controlled reach for deliberate and optimized exposures. The company offers even more added value in its ability to create custom digital solutions to help clients open new doors of opportunity every day.


For instance, EHS recently introduced Conference Connections where it creates conference microsites on for exclusive advertiser sponsorship. The microsites feature conference coverage including live tweets and postings on each day’s events. Another service added this past year was Informed Targeting where the company uses sophisticated pixel-based targeting to create message exposure of the utmost quality to drive the desired outcomes. EHS also offers other custom solutions that leverage all the value of the EHS Network as a whole and that of its individual partners.

And EHS chooses it partners carefully. Not every publisher qualifies to join its network as each potential partner must meet the company’s high standards. However, once let in, companies—and their assets—both benefit from being a part of a high-quality digital portfolio while also providing new value to the companies already a part of the network.


In addition to having new clients eager to join the network, EHS excels at attracting new talent. Over the past year, the EHS staff has doubled with bright rookies who have the benefit of working and learning from company veterans with varying levels of experience. The 13-year-old company has people who have been there from the very beginning while most employees fall into the three- to eight-year range.


In establishing its corporate identity, EHS wasted a lot of paper—and what company hasn’t. The difference is that EHS made sure that the wasted paper went to good use. Instead of trashing outdated stationary and pre-printed envelopes, EHS gave them to a non-profit entity that was even able to create a new visual element of interest for themselves. Recycling at its best!

EHS’ President and Founder, R.J. Lewis, is also a long-time member and past president of the Trenton Rotary Club. He currently serves on the Club’s Board of Directors and throughout the year is an avid supporter of their great causes. He even involves his employees in the club’s fundraisers and other activities. As a premium ad network with unique digital solutions, EHS fills two roles that the healthcare marketplace was lacking, while providing a service that everyone desires— reaching targeted audiences. The company’s innovative solutions only help to further deliver on its promise to reach your desired target while also showing off its employees’ vast digital expertise. And as the network continues to expand with new publishing partners and the company’s talent pool continues to grow, more and more people will come to think of EHS as one of the most trusted names in healthcare.

Fred Hassan

Board Chairman Bausch & Lomb

In 1997, Fred Hassan was widely viewed as the CEO heir apparent of the American Home Products Corporation (owner of Wyeth Labs), a position that would have been the well-deserved capstone of an extraordinary career. Instead he took a risk. He chose to become CEO of the newly formed Pharmacia & Upjohn, a company in so much trouble that one analyst wrote, “Only a miracle can save this company.” The company’s previous CEO had resigned amid flagging sales, profits and company morale while a cultural divide between American, Swedish and Italian components of the company threatened to split it apart. But Hassan worked the needed miracle. After growing sales nearly 30% in two years, he brought off a merger with Monsanto in 2000 (to acquire the arthritis drug Celebrex), and another one with Pfizer in 2003—a $62 billion deal that represented a 52% premium over Pharmacia’s stock price.

Having emerged triumphantly from the frying pan, Hassan now jumped with both feet into the fire, becoming CEO of Schering Plough in 2003. “I’ve faced a lot of challenges in my career, but this one was the biggest I’ve ever seen,” said Hassan. The company was being investigated by the FDA and SEC for accounting irregularities, its sales were plummeting and it was burning cash at nearly $1 billion per year. Few would have the courage to step into such a crisis, and fewer still a well-founded confidence in their ability to set things right. But Hassan’s confidence was well founded. In the next few years he took sales from $9 billion* to $20 billion, increased the number of late stage drugs from five to 12, and added five blockbusters (from a starting point of zero), making the company one of the top growth companies among its peers and a leader in relative total shareholder return. ScheringPlough’s business became so attractive that Merck proposed a merger, which was completed in 2009 for $46 billion—a 60% gain in stock price from 2003.

In 2008, Fred Hassan was named one of America’s Best CEOs by Institutional Investor, a leading international business-to-business publisher.

Hassan’s courage in taking on these challenges was founded in a long career of meeting and overcoming similar crises, including turnarounds at Sandoz Pakistan, Sandoz (U.S.) and Wyeth. It was also founded on profound understanding of what makes pharma companies work and an uncanny ability to win people’s trust and confidence. Indeed, winning the trust of customers, employees and shareholders simultaneously is pretty close to the definition of what he has done and what a company must do to be successful.

So how does he do it and what can we learn from him? One key lesson is the crucial importance of motivating frontline managers and, in particular, salespeople. First, they have exceptional leverage on the company’s performance: “When they are engaged and energized, they communicate that to employees. The result is a charged-up and aligned organization.” Second, the company’s success crucially depends on development by the salespeople of good long-term customer relationships. This is where “the rubber meets the road,” and why it is critical for them to understand and support what management is trying to do. Finally, sales people provide customer feedback that is vital to shaping company direction.

Central to it all is trust. When Hassan came to Schering-Plough, customer trust had deteriorated because of a hard-sell environment that focused on the sale rather than the relationship. At the annual sales meeting, Hassan gave a talk about trust, telling them that if they had to choose between doing what’s right and making a sale, to walk away from the sale. The reps, many of whom stood to lose money by heeding Hassan’s words, gave the CEO a standing ovation. Fred Hassan has earned our applause as well.

* Operation (i.e., non-GAAP) numbers

Nick Colucci

President and CEO Publicis Healthcare Communications Group


“Only connect,” said novelist E.M. Forster. These same words can be used to describe what Nick Colucci has achieved as President and CEO of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) for the past five years. PHCG is one of the largest healthcare communications networks in the world, with nearly 5,000 employees working for 10 agency brands in 57 offices in 11 countries. The network reflects Colucci’s extraordinary breadth of vision and is proof of his ability to transform that vision to reality, making him the leader of an entire industry.

So where is he leading us? Three themes stand out. The first is the arrival of what he terms the “age of collaboration”—the PHCG model of collaboration between agencies with different specialties to better serve the customer. The second is a broad commitment to healthcare communication, including expanding the use of digital channels. The third is a commitment to global and cultural outreach. “Connecting” is the common thread among these themes. Here are a few words about each.

A few years ago, Colucci made the case for an “age of collaboration,” stating, “There are now as many sales and marketing channels as there are Starbucks coffee shops. And each of these channels requires specialists to help companies steer through the maze and optimize their efforts.” This is why an “integration mindset” is as important as marketing savvy, creativity or analytical prowess. What really differentiates a company is when it alone “can orchestrate campaigns consistently and collaboratively with all its partners, while optimizing all of the resources that each ‘specialist’ brings to the table.”

PHCG is organized to achieve this optimization. It creates a business environment where all people who handle client business work among different agencies and mediums. The result is a laser focus on what’s best for the client.

Colucci’s commitment to healthcare communication in the broadest sense is expressed by the network’s goal: “To create life-changing dialogue around health and wellness.” For Colucci this includes multichannel communications— advertising, digital, medical communications, message delivery, market access and brand building. He believes the more diverse the talent of his agencies, the more the network offers its clients. This vision has been converted to action. Over the past year alone, PHCG added Digitas Health and Razorfish Health to its network, while Discovery Chicago focuses on deep strategy and science transforming its approach to medical communications, and Publicis Touchpoint Solutions continues to grow its business as clients look for more efficient message delivery.

It is Colucci’s commitment to global outreach that best conveys the breadth of his vision and ambition behind it. To expand PHCG’s global footprint, it has made several recent strategic acquisitions: Dreams, a full-service agency in Beijing; integrated Shanghai-based UBS; Mumbai-based Watermelon; Germany’s Digital District; Spain’s Nuatt; and UK-based agencies, Resolute and Elevator. As Colucci noted in a PM360 article last year, one reason for targeting top local agencies like Dreams or Watermelon is that the familiar “Western paths” for reaching stakeholders don’t always apply in emerging markets. In India, medical education and science-oriented communication are central, and brand building is less important. China is the opposite, where advertising, brand building and public relations are essential.

Finally, Nick Colucci is an inspirational leader and trustworthy partner. In the words of Sanofi Chairman Timothy Rothwell, he is “a class act and one of the best people I have ever worked with.” I’ll conclude with the words of Gil Bashe, Executive VP at Makovsky Health: “He represents the best in visionary leadership and client-centered drive. . . . For Nick, client success and agency growth, are one measure. Bringing ‘ideas of purpose’ to life is his mission.”

How does a Brand “Manager” transform into a Branch “Champion?” It’s when you work on a brand and you are a leading reason behind its success. It could be anyone—from product managers to marketing directors to digital experts—who demonstrated leadership, originality and, of course, innovation. It is these people who are the lifeblood of our industry and the very reason PM360 exists. It is our pleasure to honor the very people that keep this industry going strong.

This year’s group of winners in the 14 therapeutic categories proved their worth in a variety of ways. Some spearheaded innovative digital campaigns to reach and engage with reluctant patient populations or to better educate physicians about a rare disease. Others established new programs to better optimize the sales of their products. One of our winners even brought his brand back from recall to be stronger than ever. There is one thing that they all share: They are all worthy of being called “Champions.”


Brian Johnson of CSL Behring for Berinert

In September 2011, Berinert, a treatment for hereditary angioedema (HAE), was in a challenging situation. Not only was it in an already crowded marketplace but it also had trouble competing because it lacked approval for self-administration, which allows patients to treat their HAE attacks in the comfort of their own home. However, that same month, news came that the FDA would combine the company’s two label extension applications (one for the acute treatment of laryngeal attacks and the other for self-administration) into a single application and deliver a response by December.

This news also shifted the previously anticipated launch date of Berinert with its new indications by four months. Despite this abbreviated timeline, Brian Johnson was able to lead a cross-functional team in the strategic development and tactical execution of the new label and succeed beyond expectations.

The key component of this new launch was the patient educational and training materials, including a truly innovate aide—the Berinert Practice Pad. This pad, complete with an imitation vein, can be strapped to a patient’s arm so he/she can become more comfortable with the process of inserting a needle. The rest of the patient training materials along with an updated HCP campaign, word-of-mouth from the company’s patient advocacy program and a PR campaign that reached more than 45 million people helped Berinert reach new levels of success. For the fiscal year ending June 30, Berinert achieved significant growth, substantially outperforming both unit volume and sales forecasts. However, a true measure of the campaign’s success is the fact that the senior leadership team at CSL Behring has established this comprehensive and cross


Stephanie Hicks of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. for Samsca

Stephanie Hicks has been the heart of the Samsca brand since 2007 and has managed to exceed forecasts every year since the brand’s launch. Over that time, every initiative for Samsca has been designed with one goal in mind: To ensure that patients, who could benefit from the hypervolemic and euvolemic hyponatremia treatment, have access to it and have a treatment team that understands those benefits.

In order to ensure that healthcare professionals (HCPs) would prioritize hyponatremia, she led the development of a disease education campaign that would help HCPs understand the true impact of hyponatremia in the hospital system. The dark, yet clinical nature of the campaign demanded the attention of HCPs and presented a credible story that spanned multiple channels including trade journals, the Internet and medical conferences.

Many different specialists manage patients with hyponatremia and they all have a unique perspective. In order for her field reps to have a greater impact, Stephanie continues to refine and evolve messaging to address the most critical customer insights by specific target. This has enabled the reps to fine tune an already tailored message platform that is driving even more meaningful engagement within each specialty. In addition, she has begun work on a segmentation initiative that will roll out in 2013.

Last, but not least, Stephanie has been the champion behind Otsuka’s reimbursement support program for patients. In fact, she recently established an enhanced program that provides even greater support, tools and follow-up for patients who need to continue therapy after they leave the hospital.

Through these three initiatives, Stephanie proved her dedication to Samsca and the people it benefits while portraying all of the qualities we look for in a brand champion.

Central Nervous System

Michael Davis of UCB for Neupro

When Mike Davis joined the Neupro global brand team in 2010, the Parkinson’s disease drug was seen as another dopamine replacement therapy with similar effects to other drugs in the class, and its market share reflected this “me-too” perception. What’s worse, the two leading competitor products in the category were about to go generic.

However, Mike saw things differently. During his time heading the U.S. brand team, Neupro was recalled from the market for manufacturing issues and he heard first-hand from hundreds of patients and physicians that other Parkinson’s therapies could not reproduce the Neupro effect. This perception was supported by a major study showing Neupro’s benefits not just for motor symptoms, but for other Parkinson’s disease-related symptoms like sleep disorders, mood and pain.

Unfortunately, while physicians found this interesting, they didn’t see it as a reason to switch therapies. For them, “non-motor” symptoms were just academic curiosities.

To undertake this challenge, Mike assembled an interdisciplinary global brand team, which uncovered a critical insight: Physicians recognize Parkinson’s disease as a complex condition with many dimensions, but they’ve been trained to focus only on those aspects that they can treat.

The answer this team delivered was “The Many Dimensions of Parkinson’s Disease,” a campaign that highlighted Neupro’s effects throughout the patient’s day, night and early morning to help physicians see the synergistic effects of treating both motor symptoms and underlying symptoms as part of a single pathology.

The research director in Germany said that he had “never seen physicians so enthusiastic about Neupro.” The program was adopted across the EU, and within one year Neupro sales grew 25%. One of our judges sums it up best: “Mike Davis took a potentially disastrous situation and turned it into a success.”


Priscilla Tavener of Janssen Biotech for Stelara

Psoriasis patients are a challenging target to move. Burdened with a symptomatic, chronic immune disorder, many severe sufferers have either tried everything or are not ready to try a biologic. In fact, biologics like Stelara were only reaching 10% of psoriasis patients. This mindset combined with Stelara’s position as sixth to market were business challenges that Priscilla Tavener took on with her Janssen Biotech, Inc. (JBI) partners.

Research showed that patients trusted their peers’ experiences as much as their doctor’s opinion—a strategic opportunity for Stelara. Priscilla led this core strategy to transform the Stelara consumer brand into a compelling and authentic platform, encouraging patients to keep up the good fight, share their stories and work with their doctor on treatment options. This led to the development of the “Psoriasis Warrior” program, championed by CariDee English, the 2006 winner of America’s Next Top Model*, who had endured a 22-year battle with psoriasis until she finally found a treatment that worked for her—Stelara. Priscilla knew that CariDee’s “can do” attitude and empowering patient perspective could be impactful across paid and earned media. In early 2012, CariDee’s message was launched across print ads, websites, national TV, digital ads including rich media, in office, mobile platforms and the first JBI YouTube Brand Channel.

“The ‘Psoriasis Warrior’ campaign results are impressive,” one judge said. “Achieving a 27% lift in script writing in a competitive category is not an easy task. I tip my hat to you.”

Priscilla continues to focus on building the Stelara brand and impacting not only business growth, but more importantly, the lives of psoriasis patients each day.

*America’s Next Top Model courtesy of Pottle Productions, Inc.; no endorsement implied.

Diabetes/Metabolic Disorders

Melissa Bojorquez of Boehringer Ingelheim for E-Channel Marketing

Digital media marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is personified by Melissa Bojorquez, Director of BI’s Integrated Digital Media group. For BI’s brand teams she is the strategist, educator, innovator, tactician and risk-taker for digital media. Melissa’s main goal at BI is to drive business value through digital innovation. She accomplishes this by leveraging a combination of proven tactics and “experimenting” with what she perceives will provide significant customer value. Currently, this includes integrating e-sampling capabilities into digital communications for select targets, multidisciplinary blogs and new resource centers/brand microsites hosted on top physician portals. In Melissa’s own words, “We continuously focus on how our customer’s world is evolving and work to create solutions that support that evolution. We are continuously learning from every experience and getting smarter each step of the way.”

A core focus for her and her team is helping the company to continually optimize how they are engaging healthcare providers online. To accomplish this, she is developing an interactive analytics dashboard that understands and monitors leading indicators across all online platforms. This will help the brand teams understand how they should strategically combine online and offline tactics to create an effective multi-channel mix.

One of Melissa’s personal passions is leveraging social media to drive patient support. She was instrumental in developing “My Cancer Circle,” a customizable online tool that allows cancer patients and their caregivers the ability to organize and coordinate friends, volunteers and others to provide practical and emotional support. This includes help with daily tasks such as cooking meals, driving and household chores, as well as message and photo sharing, and access to support groups and educational workshops. Developing programs like this are one way Melissa has proven that customer-centric digital innovation can truly be a win win for both the customers and the company.


Lina Nudera of Takeda for Amitiza

One of the main attributes our judges look for in a brand champion is innovation and Lina Nudera knows what it means to be innovative. The list of initiatives that she has led for Amitiza includes a lot of “firsts.” At the core of each of these programs is a desire to empower patients and give them a voice and the tools to drive their own treatment. Both are extremely important for a chronic constipation or IBS patient as market research reveals that the more vocal and clear they are about their frustrations, the more likely they are to be heard and to actually get treatment.

Tummy Trends, a disease-state mobile app for iOS devices that helps patients better manage their constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and enhances patient/physician dialogue, was the first pharma mobile app in that space. She partnered with the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) and her corporate communications department for a public service announcement (PSA) for IBS—the first for IBS in more than 10 years. Lina led the development of a KOL Advocacy Planning System—a custom built program unlike anything existing—which is an internal web-based tool that helps with strategic annual planning for top KOLs, as well as the tracking of activities and interactions, KOL profiles, etc. And she is currently leading the development of the new One on One Patient Support Program—also a first for constipation and IBS patients—which offers personal calls from a health coach to patients just starting Amitiza.

These programs have proved to be very successful. Tummy Trends has more than 2,300 downloads, while the PSA led to more than 100 million impressions.


Melissa Leichter of Novo Nordisk for NovoSeven RT

“I was impressed with Melissa Leichter, and understand what a tough condition hemophilia could be,” one judge said. Tough might even be an understatement. Acquired hemophilia is a deadly bleeding disorder that is extremely rare—about 1,000 cases per year—and is often misdiagnosed because of unfamiliarity with the disease. While NovoSeven RT is indicated to treat this rare condition, there is just one tiny problem with trying to promote it. How do you reach thousands of physicians in a cost-effective manner and educate them about a disease that they will likely never see in their entire career? Melissa Leichter was able to solve this query.

Melissa conducted market research with the target audience that turned up a surprising result. Doctors not only lacked knowledge about acquired hemophilia, but all coagulation disorders. She then worked with agency Cline Davis & Mann Princeton to develop a multi-channel campaign called “Coags Uncomplicated,” which would serve as a physician resource for many coagulation disorders. The centerpiece of the campaign was the Coags Uncomplicated iPhone app that assists in the diagnosis of 62 potential bleeding disorders. For non-iPhone users, there was (with the same tools as the app) and the “Coags Mission: Time to Diagnosis” game-like iDetail (

To date, the app has been downloaded 1,840 times, and thanks to the iDetail, 4.5 out of 5 doctors say they are “likely to prescribe” NovoSeven RT. However, perhaps the greatest result to come out of the campaign is an increased ability to diagnose acquired hemophilia. The Coags Uncomplicated app is credited with helping to diagnose four cases of acquired hemophilia. And the person who creates an app that can so significantly impact patients is truly worthy of the title champion.

Infectious Diseases

Angel Fernández of BristolMyers Squibb for HIV Franchise

In Puerto Rico, talking about HIV/AIDS was considered “a thing of the past” among young people. At first, convincing them to get tested seemed unachievable, but Angel Fernández led his team in identifying opportunities in social media and used it to emotionally connect with young people. He launched the “Don’t Let it Surprise You” Facebook campaign and demonstrated that with innovation, the impossible can happen.

To get Puerto Rican adults ages 18–34 talking about HIV, Angel and his team created a powerful social media movement with a Facebook fan page and campaign. They executed the campaign in four steps: 1) Seeding: Promoters wearing QR codes went out to their targets’ hang out spots. Scanning the QR codes would reveal that the person carrying the code was HIV positive, and challenged users to “Don’t let it surprise you,” as it led them to the Facebook page. 2) Media Tour: Radio and TV personalities got tested live and shared their experience with fans. 3) Education: HIV treaters provided videos that were easily understood and shared among advocates. 4) Entertainment: BMS partnered with one of the most popular acts in Puerto Rico and Latin America: Cultura Profética. Each band member got tested and revealed his/her results on the page. Then, organized the first Puerto Rico web concert on Facebook, exclusively for advocates who pledged to get tested.

People from all over the world gravitated to the message. Over 81,000 people from 70 countries came together to watch the concert online and pledged to get HIV tested. In Puerto Rico, HIV tests in 2011 increased 32% over 2010. Angel’s leadership and mastery of strategy and execution helped solidify BMS’ commitment to the HIV community and strengthen its leadership in the market place.

Medical Device

David Kierce of Denstply for Cavitron

David Kierce helped redefine the way Cavitron products are branded—and he is making unprecedented strides for marketing in the field of preventative dentistry. In re-launching the Cavitron products, Cavitron Plus Ultrasonic scaler and Jet Plus combination scaler/air polisher for hygiene care, he successfully led rebranding efforts and delivered marketing solutions that addressed the specific challenges that both hygienists and dentists face.

Recent market entries from lower-priced competitors presented the Cavitron team with new challenges. They could no longer rely on heritage and reputation alone; their customers needed to be convinced that Cavitron continues to lead the way in the design and development of innovative, high-quality, and cost-effective products. To address these needs, David advocated for more meaningful dental marketing, elevating the role of the dentist and hygienist, and affecting the quality of patient care.

Based on insights from market research with dental professionals, David steered the development of the Cavitron “Scaling New Heights” campaign, which featured imagery of an adventurous, outdoor scene in which the dentist and hygienist team are hiking on larger-than-life teeth. The campaign reminds customers of the unmatched quality and engineering that defines the Cavitron line of products and establishes continuity across all products under the Cavitron brand name. These branding efforts helped differentiate Cavitron from its competitors.

Following the re-launch, Cavitron products featured in the branding initiative have seen unparalleled sales growth. David successfully maintained Dentsply’s market-leader status under tight budget constraints and in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Under David’s leadership and guidance, Cavitron’s re-launch reinvigorated the organization and changed the way its brand managers communicate with the dental community.

Men’s Health

Lynda Edelson of Pfizer for Viagra

The Viagra brand was experiencing a real challenge. Increased cost sensitivity due to the economic downturn contributed to the decline of cash-paying patients. Tasked with acquiring new patients, Lynda Edelson and her team not only came up with a novel price incentive solution but her analytic and strategic oversight made the program a real success, valued by both patients and HCPs.

First, she was driven to create a program based on solid evidence. She led initial efforts in conducting extensive research and reviewing analytics on several different value offers ranging from $30 off to 30% off new Viagra prescriptions. Lynda and her team then implemented a one-time 30% off value program for new patients and deployed the brand’s field force to distribute these coupons in doctors’ offices.

Lynda applied her strategic ability and devised an open communication approach to measure program success. She relied on regular dialogue with the field force to ensure best practices and strategies were implemented and real-time feedback was shared. As a result of Lynda’s efforts, the program garnered solid ROI performance, consistent positive feedback from the field and became an invaluable offer deployed by the business unit. The program’s cost savings made Viagra more affordable, removed cost barriers in getting new patients treated and may have decreased the risk of counterfeit purchases. Lynda’s success and drive to see the brand go forward has now provided the impetus for the team to begin looking into expanding the program.


Elyse Stoltz Dickerson of Alcon Labs for Systane Balance Lubricant Eye Drops

Elyse Dickerson saw an opportunity to take advantage of an untapped segment of the dry eye market that no one else did. Rather than conforming to the status quo belief that the new dry eye product, Systane Balance, was merely an upgrade to their lead product Systane Ultra, she challenged her colleagues with customer, strategic partner and opinion leader data that showed that Systane Balance and its patented new lipid formulation had the potential to address an unmet need in dry eye disease, namely meibomian gland disease (MGD).

Working with her agency, STRIKEFORCE Communications, she tested and developed global positioning messages for Systane Balance and worked with KOLs to roll out a launch plan. She focused the communications strategy heavily on peer-to-peer messaging—holding over 100 flawlessly executed dinner meetings in the U.S. over a two month period with eye care doctors to educate and train them on how to diagnose MGD patients and then treat them with Systane Balance. Physician brand awareness of Systane Balance was the fastest in Alcon dry eye history.

As a result of Elyse’s efforts, MGD patients were introduced to a product specifically designed for their type of dry eye. Patients were relieved of their symptoms and were able to get back to their normal daily lives without having to “think about their eyes.” Elyse’s leadership helped pave the way for ownership of the niche MGD dry eye market and helped change the way doctors treat dry eye disease.


David Friedman Senior Director, Digital Strategy & Design, Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The convergence of David’s experience in strategy, sales, design and development of cutting-edge eDetailing technologies is what made his nomination unique.

One of the first programs David embarked on was an unbranded eDetailing program, targeted to over 30,000 HCPs that sought to elevate disease awareness. David created a digital program that allowed HCPs to learn more about how to identify specific patient types in a user-friendly way. HCPs can input data on their patients and build virtual patient profiles online. By the end of the program, HCPs receive a positive or negative response for each patient’s disease state, allowing them to more easily recognize and treat potential patients.

David’s expertise was also seen in optimizing the sales and HCP interaction using cutting-edge iPad technology. He led his team to create fully customized and compliant iOS-based iPad apps that would increase the level of engagement and personalize every sales interaction between a rep and an HCP. The apps, known respectively as iDetail and iReferral, allow sales reps to easily access and navigate through their core sales aid tools and capture all information and activity during their interactions with HCPs. In addition to their vast functionalities, these apps were also considered meaningful consultative sales approaches—something that David’s successful sales background had much influence on.

David’s creativity, digital expertise and management skills helped elevate these educational and sales tools to their fullest potential. His leadership helped enhance his team’s productivity and delivery of innovative programs that were also cost effective and energy saving.


Brian DiDonato of Boehringer Ingelheim for Spiriva

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is an insidious disease. It destroys lung tissue and the capacity to breathe, and progresses gradually but inexorably from a mild cough to a day-and-night struggle just to breathe. An important factor in combating the disease is early diagnosis; yet, in a recent study over two-thirds of people with COPD didn’t know they had it! Spiriva, a once-a-day bronchodilator, has been found to be effective in the early stages of the disease as well as later on—reducing flare-ups, improving lung function and increasing exercise endurance. The marketing challenge was clear: Boehringer Ingelheim needed a marketing campaign that focused on both the product and on the disease itself and the importance of diagnosing and treating it in its early stages.

Brian DiDonato was asked to help lead this campaign. His goal was to develop a multi-channel campaign that would create a sense of urgency among healthcare providers (HCPs) about the need to proactively identify and diagnose COPD and treat it with Spiriva. This new campaign should also motivate the field force, instilling the excitement and passion needed to execute the campaign effectively. After extensive research among both HCPs and Boehringer Ingelheim sales representatives, the “elephant” theme that has now become familiar in households across the country rose to the top, much to the delight of the Spiriva team. For the first time in the brand’s history, the decision was then made to link consumer and professional campaigns through common use of the elephant, allowing both consumers and HCPs to receive similar messages about Spiriva.

The Spiriva team introduced the new campaign during a live field force meeting capped off by walking the elephant out to greet the crowd, which was met with wild enthusiasm. The campaign launch was successful and has continued its positive trajectory ever since.

Women’s Health

Tina Fehr of UpsherSmith Laboratories for AmLactin

Tina Fehr’s ingenuity, leadership and creativity re-invigorated the AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care brand, which is well known among the dermatology and dry skin sufferer community as a well-established, effective dry skin solution available at retail.

She envisioned repositioning the brand to reach a broader female consumer audience, while continuing to provide serious dry skin sufferers the same effective formulas, and that vision came to pass in 2012.

Tasked with leading the rebranding efforts, she energized and motivated her team and agencies to come up with creative ideas and solutions to optimize the brand’s potential. Together they created unique, new packaging, displays and promotional materials for the brand targeted to HCPs, retail/ pharmacies and consumers, many of which were “firsts” for Upsher-Smith. Tina also had the strategic foresight to tap into celebrity endorsements from Dara Torres, a 12-time Olympic swimming medalist and best-selling author, and leading New York Cosmetic Dermatologist and author, Dr. Doris Day, as part of a robust public relations and social media plan to elevate brand awareness and inspire women over 35 years of age. She led an innovative consumer campaign called “Ultra Skin Performance,” devoted to educating women about the internal and external factors contributing to dry skin.

In 2012, Fehr rejuvenated the AmLactin line through the introduction of a new brand identity, the launch of Ultra Hydrating Body Cream and increased PR, advertising, in-store promotion and improved distribution. By successfully communicating the product’s proven efficacy, Fehr has helped AmLactin to grow from a behind the pharmacy product to the No. 1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizer for rough, dry skin available without a prescription. To date, it garners praise from millions of users as an effective solution for dry skin, including dry skin associated with diabetes and keratosis pilaris.

The PM360 Trailblazer Initiative Awards recognize outstanding healthcare marketing and public relations campaigns in 15 categories, including everything from direct mail to apps and social media. Each year, we assess the strategy, planning and execution of the programs and the challenges and budgetary constraints that the marketers behind the initiatives had to overcome.

This year’s winners demonstrated innovative and effective techniques for solving a host of challenges, including shifting the perception of a brand from a “medical” product to a daily-use product, convincing skeptical patient groups to give their brand a shot, using a shared love of music to let patients know that it is okay to be open about their disease, and usin g social media to connect with patients in a way that can be both engaging and compliant. All of our winners can boast similar success stories that were driven by groundbreaking ideas and a general passion for improving the lives of the people that their brand treats. In our minds, it is this passion—in addition to their success—that truly makes them winners.


Millennium Corporate Overview App
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Klick Health

Millennium understood that first impressions always count, especially in sales. They needed a way for their sales reps, Medical Science Liaisons and Global Medical Affairs group to open up their meetings with a stellar first impression. They wanted to be able to translate the innovative, forward-thinking and advanced core of the company into an exciting and clear message. So, what better way to make a good story an amazing one than to use the latest technology?

Knowing Millennium was introducing the iPad technology to their sales force, Klick Health, the digital marketing agency, proposed and built an iOS-based app that would bring the Millennium story to life. The concept behind creating the first impression was to take the audience through an exciting journey of photos, text slides and other content using a finger swipe. Content is introduced with a smooth, parallax effect to give a dynamic presentation and users can intuitively move backwards and forwards through the content, which is revealed in a progressive manner. Klick’s Creative Design and Application Development Teams worked closely together to leverage native iOS controls and create an interaction. What came out of it was the transformation of a traditional corporate brochure into a dynamic, iPad experience.

The app is beautiful and surprising, but doesn’t overwhelm Millennium’s message. The reps love to show it off because it provokes interest and delight, which is a great way to start any relationship. Since its launch, the app has achieved consistent use among sales reps for one-on-one meetings and group presentations to physicians and other customers. As a first impression, this is one experience that’s hard to beat. Our judges concurred that Millennium and Klick “raises the bar with this one.”

Consumer Website/Online Initiative Rebranded Website
Galderma, Intouch Solutions

For 65 years, Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers were predominantly promoted by word-of-mouth referrals from dermatologists. Galderma sales reps would promote to physicians who then recommend Cetaphil products to their patients. While this was effective, the physician-driven model reached only a small portion of potential skin care customers. Additionally,’s primary call-to-action continued to drive shoppers to consult with a dermatologist for a recommendation, which caused consumers to confuse these daily-use products with those only intended for a medical skin condition. In order to clarify its positioning and bring new shoppers into the line, Galderma realized the need to invest in the consumer side of communications.

The new campaign required shifting the perception of the Cetaphil brand from that of “medical” to one of a daily-use product. To achieve this, Galderma’s strategy focused on (1) distinguishing product attributes, (2) aligning products with shoppers’ needs, and (3) leading shoppers to purchase. The first phase of the redesign had to set the groundwork for a comprehensive and shopper-centric site. Intouch Solutions, working with the Cetaphil brand marketing team, created a product-sorting tool that allows consumers to easily find the right products for their skin-type. They also redesigned brand pages based on other retail sites to create an online shopping feel.

The website redesign launched in October 2011, and tracking metrics show that the new site provides a more engaging experience. Time spent interacting with content increased 43%. Almost 60% of visitors engaged with the product sorter. Almost half of the users headed directly to the Cetaphil Facebook page, and most of the remaining users went directly to a retailer’s shopping site to purchase the product. While’s launch is only the beginning of their plans to better meet customer needs, it certainly has provided a successful path forward for new and improved business.

Direct Mail

MedTera Flat Cube Mailer

One of the more challenging issues for healthcare marketing agency MedTera was to show their clients that they could add value to their marketing campaigns. MedTera has continued to be the leader in dimensional and integrated marketing for almost 40 years. They wanted to communicate their brand message and their expertise in direct mail campaign solutions by sending out a unique piece of their own. They decided on a flat cube mailer brand awareness campaign that was simple, yet eye-catching with a touch of the “wow” factor that they consistently use. The mailer was sent to all of their pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare agency clients.

The initiative was designed to first distinguish the MedTera brand with their data and analytics platform, a system that consists of over 550,000 healthcare providers. They made sure to emphasize that their recommended marketing campaigns are based on actual historical evidence of marketing effectiveness. Next, they highlighted their website’s product portfolio. This portfolio allows their clients to view all of MedTera’s solutions in one easy step. With links and QR codes, they made it easy for clients to access their site from any device. Additionally, MedTera showed how their solutions effectively increase client ROI and market share by devoting an entire section of their mailer to two case studies. Finally, they included their Twitter username to further establish the MedTera brand as a leader in pharmaceutical marketing solutions and to encourage constant client contact.

The mailer was a success, and they generated numerous qualified leads. They proved to their clients that dimensional mailers are more engaging and interactive—with response rates about twice as high as flat mail. By being innovative and presenting evidence, MedTera showed that their dimensional solutions are highly successful.

DTC Campaign

Stelara “Psoriasis Warrior”
Janssen Biotech, Draftfcb

Delivering a strong efficacy message through a deep and emotional story was Stelara’s strategy for raising brand awareness among psoriasis sufferers. Additionally, it was important to educate and prompt them to ask their doctors for a treatment that would help them take control and finally be free from their psoriasis symptoms.

By leveraging the Stelara success story of CariDee English (2006 winner of America’s Next Top Model and long-time psoriasis sufferer), the “Psoriasis Warrior” campaign was born. The campaign aimed to build brand awareness and advocacy as well as motivate and empower sufferers to seek out information and talk to their doctor.

The fully integrated campaign appeared everywhere patients could be reached. It all started with a print ad that drove patients to request more information via text messaging or the website. It also aired as a DRTV campaign that directed people to learn about Stelara through free DVD kits that star CariDee. After registering for the kit, patients receive personalized email and direct mail. features a “Stelara Stories” page that includes testimonials from CariDee and other Stelara patients. Meanwhile, magazine-style patient brochures with CariDee’s story and smartphone QR codes were placed in doctor’s offices to allow patient access to educational videos.

Since the launch of the campaign in December 2011, web traffic and sales have increased significantly. Stelara has also shown a strong influence in social media with CariDee’s Twitter followers doubling since the DRTV spot aired. Lastly, qualitative feedback from the sales force continues to be positive, reinforcing the strong influence that the campaign has on both doctors and patients.

DTP Campaign

Allergan LapBand Behavioral Call Campaign
Allergan, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions (MPRS), and Ogilvy Healthworld

For most patients, getting a weight loss surgical procedure done is a deeply personal and sensitive decision. Ogilvy Healthworld and MPRS understood that guiding patients along the decision-making process required personal handholding and support. The challenge was to encourage over 50,000 patients who requested information about Allergan’s Lap-Band weight loss procedure to attend an informational weight-loss seminar.

MPRS and Ogilvy Healthworld launched a call campaign that involved one-to-one conversations with patients encouraging them to attend a seminar. Seminars discussed a number of surgery options, not just Lap-Band. Knowing how important personal connections and attention were in helping guide consumers, the team assigned a Patient Support Representative (PSR) to each patient. The assigned PSRs, who are trained in behavioral coaching, made two primary phone calls and sent several email communications to their patients. The goal of the first call was to assess where the patient was in the decisionmaking process, schedule them for a seminar appointment and answer any questions or concerns they had. The goal of the second call was to uncover additional barriers to moving forward with the Lap-Band procedure, and overcome them by providing the necessary support. They then encouraged patients to make an appointment with their surgeon.

The results of the campaign far outpaced the expected results of the brand. A total of 5,136 incremental seminars were scheduled. 93% of patients who scheduled seminars through the program actually attended and moved forward with scheduling a procedure. Of the 93%, along with a number of patients who bypassed the seminar and went directly to their surgeon, approximately 2,700 patients scheduled a Lap-Band procedure. The brand received a 5:1 return on investment. Our judges concluded: “Tremendous results speak for themselves! Good for the patient, society and Allergan—the right combination.”

Interactive Marketing Program

BreathTek UBT
Otsuka and Rosetta

“The 2012 Interactive class of submissions is the best work that I’ve had the chance to judge since the inception of the Trailblazers,” one of our judges exclaimed. “Smart, innovative work that was on strategy and well thought out.” And in this highly competitive category, it was the campaign for BreathTek UBT that emerged victorious. BreathTek UBT is a noninvasive test for the H. pylori bacteria, which is responsible for causing most ulcers if left untreated. However, despite being a noninvasive alterative to endoscopy, BreathTek UBT had a very low awareness level among its target audience even though it had been on the market for nine years.

The campaign included both online and offline materials, with a website ( that highlighted the reasons for testing as well as the ease of use and wide availability of the test. An engaging new iPad app also allowed sales reps to create personalized sales calls with bookmarked pages; dynamic, interactive content; and a tailored experience for their audience. And in truly integrated form, the campaign also added Catalina pharmacy pieces, a new core visual aid, patient prep materials and convention assets.

Since the launch of the campaign, the BreathTek brand has seen its best sales in nine years—an increase of more than 20% from 2010. Unaided brand awareness also tripled among GIs—the brand’s primary focus—and the brand recently had its highest monthly sales in its history.

Persistence Program

Solaraze Gel: “AK Connect”
PharmaDerm and DKI

AK Connect is a branded patient Relationship Marketing (RM) program that goes beyond email to reach, support and encourage ongoing compliance for patients on Solaraze Gel, and educate and empower those who are seeking treatment for actinic keratosis (AK). AK is a chronic skin condition caused by too much sun exposure over many years, which can develop into skin cancer if left untreated.

AK Connect was integrated into the branded website,, and offers an instant savings card for Solaraze Gel upon enrollment. Once enrolled, people can access their own Personal Page. Participants are alerted each time there is fresh content on their Personal Page— one article predetermined from the brand and another that enrollees choose based on a list of topics that includes prevention, support and about AK. There are also links to additional resources and an archive of all the articles served for future reference or sharing with others.

The communications are ongoing for six months and are tailored by audience segmentation. For example, Segment A (patients being treated with Solaraze Gel) is given relevant brand messaging to help patients comply with treatment. The other groups are Segment B (diagnosed with AK, not on Solaraze Gel) and Segment C (undiagnosed, looking for information about AK).

“What distinguishes the AK Connect program are the results of their persistence program—an element missing from the other submissions,” one judge explained. Since the program launched in August 2011, there are more than 23,000 enrollees, almost 95% from Segments A and B. Even better, people are actively engaged with the program, reading 2.8 pages of content and spending three minutes per visit.

PR Campaign

“Tune In to Hep C / Hepatitis CToca el Tema”
Merck and Biosector 2

Many people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) don’t know that they have it—approximately 70% to 80% of newly infected people don’t have symptoms—and even the people who do know do not like to talk about it. Chronic HCV is a highly stigmatized disease because it is often associated with intravenous drug use even though any blood-to-blood transmission can be the culprit.

The “Tune In to Hep C” and “Hepatitis C-Toca el Tema” is a first-of-its-kind multicultural unbranded public awareness campaign bringing together musically diverse celebrities, B2B partners and patient advocates to educate patients at risk for chronic hepatitis C, eliminate the stigma associated with the disease and elevate the importance of talking to a healthcare professional. Not only was there a benefit concert—Tune In to Hep C Presents: The Allman Brothers Band—but the campaign also featured three celebrity ambassadors (Grammy Award– winners Gregg Allman, Natalie Cole and Jon Secada) who openly shared personal stories about their experience with HCV as patients or, in Secada’s case, as a caregiver. The concert raised more than $250,000 for patient advocacy groups with more than 3,000 attendees and another 21 million listeners on SIRIUS XM radio. The campaign also featured public service announcements, educational booths at six other Allman Brothers concerts, an original campaign song, “Tu Voz Te Dira/Your Voice Inside,” written by Jon Secada, an interactive website (with English and Spanish versions) and more.

“This was one of the best PR campaigns,” one judge said. “Using heart-warming stories from celebrities that you would never guess had Hepatitis C, it allowed the everyday person afflicted with this disease to better relate to the message.”

Product Launch

Latuda Fragments Campaign
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and AbelsonTaylor

Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating disease that can make patients feel like they are torn into pieces. Profound symptoms such as scrambled thoughts, severe paranoia and auditory and visual hallucinations leave patients frequently unable to lead independent lives. The Latuda Fragments Campaign was focused on visually representing the condition and how the treatment could help patients feel more together.

The cover of the sales aid presents an image of a patient who has been torn into fragments by his disorder. Inside, his image is still crackled and fragmented because there is no cure for schizophrenia. However, the cracks are not as prominent, which represents signs of symptom improvement. Since market research revealed that family members and caregivers play a crucial role in the treatment process, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and AbelsonTaylor also included the “mom” figure as a part of the sales aid. On the inside image, the mom looks pleased with the improvement she sees in her son. Meanwhile, the other pages contain data (in clean, open spreads) from two clinical studies that demonstrate Latuda’s efficacy in each dosage strength.

The image of the son and his mother has become highly recognizable among psychiatrists who have also commented on its ability to portray the devastating nature of the illness. The iconic and memorable image has helped differentiate Latuda from its competitors, and thanks to this powerful launch campaign the brand is on track to succeed in a very competitive category.

Professional Campaign

Ampyra: “Think MS. Think Walking”
Acorda Therapeutics and Flashpoint Medica

Most people with MS believe that walking difficulty is the most challenging symptom of their condition. However, neurologists treating MS are primarily concerned with stopping disease progression with disease-modifying therapies and are often less interested in therapies that relieve symptoms.

Flashpoint Medica and Acorda Therapeutics used an image very familiar to neurologists—with a twist—to get neurologists to remember the prevalence of walking difficulty in people with MS. The surreal, striking addition of a shoe in an MRI scan reminds physicians that when they review lesions in a brain scan, they should also consider the potential impact on mobility—hence, “Think MS. Think Walking.” With its high-impact visual and clear, concise copy, the campaign has a whole lot of stopping power, compelling doctors to consider walking difficulty in their patients with MS—and the use of Ampyra.

The campaign launched in April and is currently being rolled out in sales aids, direct mail, print and on the web. But our judges have no doubt that its combination of copy and visual is sure to make neurologists stop and think, and then the creative idea will become a reality: Neurologists really will have walking and MS stuck in their minds.

Professional Website/Online Initiative

Sanofi Diabetes ISPP Website
Sanofi Aventis, Klick Health

Is regulatory complexity getting you down? Thanks to Klick Health, there is now an app for that. As keyopinion leaders at Sanofi Aventis were only too aware,KOL presentations have a hidden layer of complexitythat medical expertise alone cannot overcome. ThePharmaceutical Industry Promotional Guidelines thatregulate these presentations are extraordinarily complex.

Only an expert on these rules can safely customize a slideshow for an audience, and even then considerable labor is required. This resulted in the physician and healthcareprofessionals who speak on behalf of Sanofi finding themselves in a straightjacket, unable to customize presentations in a flexible and audience-appropriate manner.

Sanofi endeavored to free them from the straightjacket. They asked Klick to design an online application that would restore the needed flexibility while maintaining regulatory integrity. The essence of the solution was to design a very simple, intuitive user interface that hides the complexity of the underlying rules set, enabling users to edit presentations without training on either the software or the underlying content requirements. The several hundred key opinion leaders at Sanofi Aventis Diabetes were the target audience for this site.

The result was the Presentation and Information Hub for Sanofi Speakers, a friendly and visually pleasing website that allows the user to view and modify template slide shows on a number of topics, deleting or rearranging slides at will and saving the result—as well as accessing videos, podcasts and other resources—all without having to worry about regulatory constraints. In demonstrations at a speaker academy in Dallas, no one had seen a tool quite like this before. Doctors indicated that this was “the best solution of the type they’ve seen—substantially better than any currently on the market.” It looks like there truly is an app for everything.


StoneArch 5Day Gain Campaign

StoneArch seems to have demonstrated that the most effective way to promote yourself is to help someone else. That’s the strategy behind the “5-Day Gain Campaign.” Their goals were: 1) to support a critically important cause over the holidays that aligned with StoneArch’s health-focused brand, 2) showcase a dramatically different creative style and user experience, and 3) create new opportunities to connect with clients. And do all of these things at the same time.

It wasn’t difficult to find a worthy cause: Local families in need of food. But the goal they set themselves was difficult: Collecting as much non-perishable food in five days as humanly possible and giving it to the Twin Cities’ Emergency Foodshelf Network. As the campaign reminds us, there are 49 million Americans, including 16 million children, living in “food-insecure” households, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.

How exactly does a health communications agency go about feeding hungry families? They do what they do best, only in a big hurry. Besides posting daily updates on, they started a YouTube channel to document the effort, blogged, emailed, tweeted continuously and promoted the campaign on several Facebook pages. They made a rather striking video of the food on a plate disappearing, bite by bite, to reveal the words “For 16 million kids, this is a fantasy,” and another video of themselves conducting the campaign. They partnered with restaurants and sent clients customized campaign tote bags. The results: Two-and-a-half tons of food, over a thousand YouTube channel views and website visits from around the world. All in five days.

To quote one of our judges: “Bravo! While there were entries in this category that were creative, and other entries that did ‘good,’ no other competitor hit the high note for both creativity and doing good like StoneArch.”

Social Media

ParaGard IUC “Love Well, Live Well”
Teva Women’s Health, STRIKEFORCE Communications and Story WorldWide

STRIKEFORCE Communications collaborated with Story Worldwide, experts in mobilizing audiences through storytelling, to devise a campaign that went beyond traditional DTC advertising to promote ParaGard, a unique intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) that had received no marketing support for many years. Rather than simply adding its voice to the din of the crowded marketplace, the campaign sought to start a new conversation about birth control that would emerge from an active online community.

The target community was the growing number of health-conscious women actively seeking peer or professional opinion on birth control options. The objective of the unbranded “Love Well, Live Well” Facebook page was to reach out to the target audience through health-minded content speaking to relationships, sex and health-related concerns. Ultimately they wanted to connect to the audience by telling engaging, entertaining and relevant stories that fit women’s lives naturally.

Through a partnership with a third party, the campaign was also able to solve the problem of responsibility by allowing visitors to leave comments, which are then moderated and addressed through a proprietary internal review process.

“Love Well, Live Well” has established a contextual platform that helps set up ParaGard’s unique value proposition. Since launch, there have been 78,000 “likes.”

Unbranded Campaign

“The Path in CML”
Novartis Oncology, Vogel Farina

CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood that was a death sentence for almost everyone who had it until Novartis introduced Gleevec in 2001. Today, thanks to Gleevec and its successor Tasigna, most CML patients are able to live long, productive lives. But for Novartis this was not good enough. Although these drugs hold the disease at bay, they must be taken indefinitely. Any suspension of treatment— due to side effects, for example—allows the disease to resume its deadly course. So Novartis has embarked on a longterm clinical research program—The Path in CML—with the goal of potentially allowing patients to live in treatment-free remission. This ambitious initiative seeks to improve understanding and monitoring of the disease and to optimize treatment strategies. Novartis asked Vogel Farina to publicize the initiative to medical and patient communities.

The campaign made its debut at the Novartis booth at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting last December with an original and delightful display of state-of-the-art educational gaming. Physicians were invited to “Help Build the Path” by signing virtual bricks on iPads and then flicking them onto a 103-inch plasma screen. The bricks created “The Path” in real time for all to see. For each brick, Novartis made a donation to ASH to support research. The booth also featured a super-sized version of the campaign’s “We’ll Stop at Nothing” launch ad, and physicians could sign out iPads that included Path Match (an edu-game), a demo of the campaign website and an opt-in to surveys on CML-related topics.

The ASH introduction was a virtuoso performance. It yielded tens of thousands of total impressions. An impressive 74% of its participants were hematologists or oncologists from more than 30 countries, and 86% played the edu-game to completion. But it was only the first act of what promises to be an extraordinary campaign. We look forward to it.

Video Commercial

“Moment of Truth”
Lilly Oncology, GSW Worldwide

There are many things the short film “Moment of Truth” does not do. It does not promote any product or treatment. It does not provide information about any disease or any specific activity of the company—Lilly Oncology— for which it was made. It contains very few words. It concludes with the words “this is our mission,” but doesn’t describe any goals the company aims to achieve.

That’s why it’s so powerful. The film lets the facts speak for themselves. And the facts are simple and harsh. The film begins with an alarm clock going off and an elderly man rising, going through normal morning rituals, and getting ready to go somewhere. He has a doctor’s appointment. A smiling nurse leads him to an office marked “Oncology.” We can hear his heart beating as he walks down the hall. He shakes hands with the doctor. He meets the eyes of the doctor with apprehension in his face. That’s all. And that’s enough.

GSW Worldwide created the film to capture “that devastating moment when cancer patients receive their diagnosis. The moment where Lilly Oncology can take action.” It was first shown to Lilly Oncology’s own sales force at the national meeting—its purpose to inspire, renew their commitment and remind them of their company’s mission. It was also shown to oncologists attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology and then to attendees at sales conferences, oncology trade shows and other events. The video defines Lilly Oncology’s “brand story.” It inspires all who work with cancer patients and focuses attention on the physician-patient experience. It has been so effective that six additional videos have been created for each phase of the cancer journey.

The film’s concluding words are “Lilly Oncology. Making science personal.” Nothing makes science personal like “Moment of Truth.”

—Trailblazer winner profiles by Bruce Lacey, Andrew Matthius and Latesha Richards

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