Alpharmaxim has worked with many healthcare companies to help develop their stories and tell them to a wide variety of audiences. Whether communicating to healthcare professionals, patients, investors or internal audiences, Alpharmaxim has always provided innovative solutions for clients’ needs.
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Developing a story
In healthcare communications, even a compelling story must be scientifically accurate and evidence led. A client requested help with such a story to support the global launch of an established drug in a new indication: diabetic microvascular complications.
Alpharmaxim took time at the start of the project to fully understand the market and the position of the product through situational and informational analyses. These included: literature searches, interviews with affiliates and key opinion leaders (KOLs), and a review of existing competitor messaging.
Once confident we were aware of the issues the product would face in the new therapeutic area, we worked closely with the client to devise a Belief Continuum® for the disease area and product, validating it with a KOL advisory board.
A key message platform was developed from the Belief Continuum®, which expanded core messages into detailed and referenceable supporting claims underpinned by scientific evidence.
The key message platform was welcomed by the global team, who appreciated the logical and robust story flow, which helped shape and align local activities. Both medical- and sales-focused teams found they were able to engage healthcare professionals in compelling science-led discussions thanks to the scientific detail and the easy access to full reference information from the key messages.
Telling a story through the written word
Medical education for staff in direct contact with customers remains a key need for healthcare clients. Alpharmaxim was asked to prepare a programme to educate Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) about a new disease area and the role of a speciality medicine within it.
Alpharmaxim created a series of ten medical slide kits for MSL training that adhered to the key concepts of good medical education:
• concise writing, tailored to the audience needs
• thorough referencing, to ensure compliance
• rigorous data checking, for guaranteed accuracy
• meticulous proofing, for quality control
• visually appealing design and clear layout, to present an impactful story.
The accessible, intuitive, modular design met with great success, garnering positive feedback from all those who benefited from it. Although the slide kits were originally designed for use in Europe, they were rolled out to other regions by the client’s Global Medical Affairs team for local adaptation and dissemination. They were later repurposed for use with key external stakeholders.
Telling a story through meetings
Alpharmaxim was approached by a pharmaceutical company who wished to raise awareness among healthcare professionals on the benefits of a fixed-dose combination of fenofibrate and simvastatin in helping to reduce macrovascular risk in patients with atherogenic dyslipidaemia.
Alpharmaxim devised, delivered and facilitated a consensus meeting with over twenty senior cardiovascular experts. Before the meeting, several KOLs were contacted and interviewed to gauge opinion and improve the chances of reaching a consensus on the day.
Alpharmaxim handled the complete planning and running of the meeting, including:
• agenda planning
• faculty briefing and management
• pre-work packs
• slide preparation
• meeting facilitation
• logistics support.
Thanks in part to the strong and considered Alpharmaxim-led facilitation and ‘real-time’ adaptation, which ensured that evolving needs were accommodated during the meeting, a consensus was reached, and the outcomes were published in Atherosclerosis Supplements.
Follow-on KOL interviews enabled the publication of an opinion-based paper in European Heart Journal Supplements, which shared insights into how decisions are made and implemented in clinical practice. An accompanying slide deck was produced for KOLs to use in presentations to their peers.
A client had a new product for the management of epileptic seizures in children, which was delivered in a more socially acceptable way than well-established existing treatments. Despite patient and parental concern, many healthcare professionals failed to appreciate the reasons to change treatments. Alpharmaxim was asked to devise a programme that could address this disparity.
Using the Belief Continuum® approach, Alpharmaxim developed a narrative that overcame embedded healthcare professional beliefs. This narrative became a road map, which enabled the teams to build consolidated campaigns to change beliefs and demonstrate the benefits offered by the client’s new brand. Part of the solution was a survey of care-givers, which demonstrated the effects of the failures of existing therapies.
Through a series of Alpharmaxim-supported publications and meetings, the issues were overcome. Physicians were made more aware of the need to change through the appreciation of very strong patient/care-giver concerns. This was supported through materials for local teams and patient advocacy groups, as well as information packs that enabled clear understanding of the correct use of the available medications. These tools, together with the appropriate feedback, enabled the development of instructional materials designed to boost the confidence of indirect carers such as those in nurseries and schools.
The approach clearly demonstrated to healthcare professionals the discrepancy between how well the condition was being managed and what care-givers felt; the result of this drove a change in belief. The programme has resulted in the client’s therapy being adopted as the drug of choice for this orphan area.
Telling the story to investors
A start-up biotech company was looking to increase their brand awareness and secure additional funding to move an innovative product into Phase II trials. They asked Alpharmaxim to develop a corporate story and help promote their promises to investors.
The strategic consultants at Alpharmaxim worked in partnership with the client’s senior management team to devise and deliver a corporate-focused Belief Continuum® that explained their vision, and showed how their potential product range would help them meet these goals.
The messaging that was developed through the Belief Continuum® underpinned the tactical delivery of written materials to help investors understand the scientific rationale behind the company and its plans for the future.
As part of the communications plan, a new website was developed to provide healthcare professionals and investors alike with a clear and simple explanation of both the corporate and scientific offerings.
As a result of the programmes undertaken by Alpharmaxim, there was clear evidence of an increased internal understanding of the direction of the company, and the improved investor communications maximised the potential for future funding.
Telling a story to internal audiences
Alpharmaxim was approached by a company with a diverse range of products, but with no coherent identity, vision or strategy linking them all together. It was clear that what was needed was a plan to define and build a new franchise identity that would allow the disparate product teams to develop a common purpose and share an inspiring vision of the future.
Alpharmaxim worked in partnership with client management teams to develop new franchise messages through the Belief Continuum® process. These messages were used to formulate a strategic campaign and a communications plan. The plan was executed through an array of considered tactics, which included pre-launch teaser campaigns; launch communications (such as site display materials, animations and face-to-face events); and follow-on communications (such as newsletters and quizzes) to keep up the momentum generated by the launch.
Staff across the product teams were engaged with the new messaging and were well informed about the impact it would have on their business. They understood how the messages united the franchise and the importance of embracing them. Employees became more connected with colleagues across the franchise, were able to demonstrate their contribution to the overall strategy and could share insights that continued to keep the franchise successful.
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