Velcade uses "iPatient" to spur sales
Velcade has been the market leader for the blood cancer myeloma since its 2003 introduction. Ten years and two competitive entrants later, Velcade is no longer alone at the top and has rolled out an “iPatient” sales aid.
“We saw two competitors, Kyprolis and Pomalyst, roll out in the past year,” says Philip Prince, senior product manager, Velcade marketing at Millennium Takeda. “We really wanted to invigorate the brand.”
The app continues last year's professional print campaign, with the tagline “Survival never gets old.” The iPatient sales aid offers four patient case studies as discussion points as well as other information to clarify who should be prescribed Velcade.
It's Takeda Millennium's second iPad app, but it's their first that “takes physicians through the patient journey with provocative case studies,” Prince said.
While the drug boasts strong efficacy, Velcade, as an IV treatment, also has debilitating side effects like peripheral neuropathy. Velcade was approved by FDA for subcutaneous administration in January 2012.
“With the launch of the subcutaneous route, we found through market research that physicians were developing a stronger emotional connection with Velcade based on a new ‘softer' perception—thanks to the different side-effect profile,” says Prince. “This change in perception allowed us to introduce a patient-focused campaign.”
So far, the move appears to have paid off: “With the launch of the iPatient App to our sales force at a recent congress, we more than doubled our targeted discussion length with physicians,” said Prince.Millennium worked with Toronto-based digital agency Klick Health on the project. Klick also helped them develop an unbranded website earlier this year at mymultiplemyeloma.com.