Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crohn's and Me: An example of priming the market prior to new drug approval

This is a follow-up to the post Crohn's and Me: An example of Pharma breaking into Web 2.0 from Jess:

I shared the site, a few months ago, as it was a good example of an unbranded online market-priming effort. UCB was waiting for their drug, Cimzia, to be approved for Crohn's Disease, and created this site to build an online community during that pre-launch phase. The obvious here is that they were able to build their consumer database, and sent out this email to coincide with product approval (and drive to the brand site). has been a live, unbranded community site for some time now. Built a community around treatment of Crohn's Disease, with a registration component clearly to prep for the approval of a new medication for Crohn's Disease. I had forwarded this site on a few months back as a good example of building community during the pre-launch phase. However, the site also has links to sponsored community events. There are some nice pieces here in terms of story sharing, incorporating diagnosed celebrities, and providing some nice tools that are available via registration only. There was also a community "tour" that is now archived, which includes professional and patient spokespeople.

I got this email today, as UCB's drug, Cimzia, just received approval. Crohnsandme still exists as its own site, but the email of course drives to It will be interesting to see how the unbranded site evolves. You can click through to the brand site from the community now, both from the home page and on the treatment section.

Just wanted to share as a well-executed online tool used to build community, establish a prospect database, and set-up a timely email blast to announce new drug approval. NOTE that the "community feel" is here, even without the inclusion of blogs or any real-time conversations. More like interactive patient stories, but executed in way to make it feel more authentic to a unique community.

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