Genentech recently launched a direct-to-consumer campaign for Ocrevus in both English and Spanish languages for the multiple sclerosis community. 

The campaign is titled “More Progress, Less Progression” or “Más Progreso, Menos Progresión” in Spanish. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people with MS to discuss early treatment of Ocrevus with their doctor in the hopes of delaying disability progression. 

Additionally, the campaign is focused on reaching millennials, who constitute the largest growing group of newly diagnosed patients, as well as Hispanic/Latinx patients, who tend to experience more severe symptoms and faster progression than other populations. 

Reaching vulnerable audiences with a message supporting early treatment and appropriate care is a critical aspect to Genentech’s effort to combat a prevalent condition. Nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the U.S., according to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. 

Jennifer Kim, VP and head of neuroimmunology at Genentech Marketing, said the DTC campaign serves as an evolution of the company’s “Dear MS” campaign, even incorporating the ‘peace sign’ aspect as a reminder of Ocrevus’ 2-times-a-year dosing. 

Kim said that when crafting the new campaign, it was important to engage with patients living with MS in order to fine-tune the messaging and emphasize the goal of slowing disability progression. 

“The MS community is quite diverse and what we saw were people with different backgrounds all coming together around the desire to take control of their MS,” Kim said. “This ties in nicely with our scientific advancements because we’re trying to find ways to help these patients address their MS with high efficacy.”

She praised the involvement of patient ambassadors willing to share their stories of living with MS as a way to highlight the strength of the community and relate to other patients seeking treatment. Kim said Genentech sought to make the campaign “truly representative” of who this patient population is.

Featuring a Spanish language aspect to the campaign was the result of Genentech research that indicated Hispanic/Latinx patients living with MS had lower rates of treatment compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Kim said this patient population faces health disparities tied to complex health inequities, cultural differences and gaps in the social determinants of health. 

To overcome these barriers to access and treatment, Genentech put its messaging where its patients were most likely to see it.

“We learned that the Hispanic/Latinx community is much more eager to look at online channels like Facebook and YouTube,” she said. “Last year, we had the MSVisibility movement to break barriers to care. It was a video segment and an educational piece that we launched on YouTube and it met these patients where they were accessing information.”

Kim noted that Genentech approached this campaign with a heightened sense of awareness about how people live with MS and how they consume information. There was also a consideration of how to balance sharing broader messages alongside customizing messages that fit the needs of certain patient cohorts. 

Going forward, Kim said Genentech seeks to build off its outreach to underrepresented groups like millennials and Hispanic/Latinx patients to be a leader in the broader MS field, adding that it remains a priority for the company.