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‘Shape Your AS Future’ Campaign

by The Clarion Portfolio for Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK & The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)

Summary of work

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) affects approximately 220,000 people in the UK causing spinal vertebrae to fuse. Patients suffer from chronic back pain, stiffness and fatigue, with unexpected periods of severe ‘flares’. Despite this, diagnosis on average takes 8.5 years; awareness is significantly lower than other diseases with similar patient populations and support for AS patients often lags behind other rheumatology diseases.

Unfortunately, for many the delay in diagnosis and treatment cycling leads to patients developing ‘coping’ mechanisms and over time becoming disengaged and demotivated from impaired mobility, feelings of isolation and anxiety.

A multidisciplinary team of industry professionals, AS patients, The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, rheumatologists and physiotherapists developed the ‘Shape Your AS Future’ patient activation campaign. Designed around the real needs of patients and healthcare professionals, the campaign aimed to empower AS patients to understand the impact of their disease and better communicate challenges to their healthcare team.

Audience profiling and a digital media plan generated over 26 million impressions, 43,899 social media engagements, 157,000 website sessions and 20,557 initiations of the interactive assessment questionnaire – in just 4 months. Empowering thousands of AS patients to re-engage with their condition and influence strategic decisions regarding the future needs of AS patients.

Judges’ comments

The ‘Shape Your AS Future’ campaign had good objectives and was multidisciplinary, multichannel and its campaign assets were well produced. It was impressive to see physicians and advocacy groups working together.