Boehringer Ingelheim launches gamified support program

Boehringer Ingelheim launched a new gamified support program for patients taking Spiriva Respimat, its treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This is the drugmaker's first gamified support program, according to Chris Wahlers, a spokesperson for BI.

The program, known as RespiPoints, is a free online program that rewards patients when they report that they took their medication, read educational information, and refill their prescriptions. Those activities give users points that they can use to redeem online gift cards. It also includes weekly quizzes and surveys. BI worked with HealthPrize to develop the program.

The program is “the latest in a series of efforts to empower people living with COPD to better manage their health with tools that are engaging and educational,” Ruchin Kansal, executive director and head of business innovation for BI, said in a release.

Pharma companies have increasingly looked to provide more services “beyond the pill.” These kinds of programs can help patients stay on their treatment regimen and ultimately improve their experiences and health outcomes by providing incentives to keep them engaged with their healthcare. These services are particularly popular with chronic conditions, like COPD or diabetes.

Spiriva Respimat is the successor to Boehringer Ingelheim's best-selling brand, the Spiriva HandiHaler. Respimat has the same active ingredient as HandiHaler but delivers it in a slow-moving mist, meant to help COPD patients better inhale the medicine. HandiHaler brought in total sales of $3.4 billion in 2015. Respimat was approved to treat COPD in September 2014; it is also approved to treat asthma.