Novartis Sickle Cell Marketing Team

Healthcare professionals feel frustrated by the lack of effective weapons for the fight against sickle cell and express disdain for patients by painting them as drug seekers. People living with sickle cell disease (SCD) feel silenced, powerless and stigmatized. They are frustrated because they and their disease are not taken seriously. 

This purpose-built team came together early in 2018 to attack these issues head on, blending seasoned Novartis players with a group of new hires, and was fully staffed by midyear. Targeting HCPs, it launched the comprehensive “Rethink SCD” campaign, challenging providers to think differently. It offers deep scientific content to change entrenched beliefs. Its efforts drove providers to a multimedia platform, providing a deep dive into the pathophysiology of vaso-occlusive crisis, elucidating the central role of multicellular adhesion.

And to touch patients, it knew it needed to connect with the SCD community, a group suspicious of big pharma. The team built on the relationship with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, creating Generation S, which has become a powerful platform for those with SCD. Partnering with singer/songwriter Jordin Sparks, it also established Rock the Block, a community platform of entertaining and educational block party events.

Once given a platform, people with SCD stepped up to be heard and to tell their stories so that the world would know their challenges and their triumphs. The team’s programs have exceeded all KPI goals, including the number of stories shared. And the Gen S initiative broke internal records for registrations.

Sponsored by: Health Monitor Network