Packer Forbes, the healthcare marketing agency were responsible for the launch of Cymbalta in the UK:
Cymbalta (duloxetine), an SNRI antidepressant co-marketed in the UK by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, became available for use following marketing authorisation from the European Commission in January 2005. Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim required a targeted launch solely to medical press journalists. The aim of the launch was to make prescribers aware of Cymbalta and raise the proﬁle of general aches and pains in depression among the medical press and health care professionals.
Depression Alliance, a UK charity, organise an annual depression awareness week in April each year in the UK – oh, and by the way, Packer Forbes also happens to work for Depression Alliance… are you with me so far?
Now, in 2005, The National Depression Week was themed “Pulling Together” – this from DA’s website:
Results of the 2005 Pulling Together survey report released today demonstrate that depression is a condition that affects the mind and body. [There were two surveys in fact, the surveys and the Symptoms of Depression Survey Report were sponsored by an unconditional educational grant from Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.]
Depression Alliance – the leading charity for people affected by depression – today calls on patients and GPs to discuss the physical symptoms of depression (which include fatigue, sleep disturbance, appetite or weight change, general aches and pains and sexual dysfunction) as well as the psychological manifestations such as low mood .
The results of the Pulling Together survey published in a report this week show that while 98% of patients surveyed indicated that they experienced one or more physical (somatic) symptoms associated with their depression, they worryingly often do not discuss them with their doctor.
Now read the Packer Forbes version of what National Depression Week 2005 was all about:
Consumer Media Campaign
National Depression Week for Eli Lilly’s/Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cymbalta
National Depression Week is held annually by Depression Alliance, the leading UK charity for people with depression. The 2005 campaign, Pulling Together, which highlighted how people pull together to defeat the illness, was co-sponsored by Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.
The aims of the campaign were to achieve increased awareness amongst healthcare professionals and patients of the established link between depression and somatic symptoms such as general aches and pains, and to improve recognition among journalists of general aches and pains in depression.
Two surveys, one of 200 GPs (conducted by TNS Healthcare) and the other of 644 patients (Depression Alliance members), were undertaken on the symptoms of depression. The Pulling Together theme was continued through the survey results, emphasising that depression involves a wide range of symptoms, both physical and emotional.
Three weeks in advance of National Depression Week a press alert was sent to national, regional, broadcast and online media to notify journalists of the imminent awareness campaign. This was followed during National Depression week by dissemination of the campaign press release. Amelia Mustapha, the Fundraising & Marketing Director of Depression Alliance, appeared on GMTV to launch the campaign. The next day she was joined by a psychiatrist for a series of 18 interviews with national and regional radio stations to discuss the campaign and the mind and body link in depression.
- Total campaign circulation achieved: 21,569,796
- Within two months the survey report had been downloaded by more than 3,600 visitors to the Depression Alliance website
- In depth coverage by Dr Rob Hicks on Classic FM
- Further national coverage in the Times and on BBCi
And this confuses me – the Depression Alliance website says very specifically that only “The surveys and the Symptoms of Depression Survey Report were sponsored by an unconditional educational grant from Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.” But Packer Forbes, on the other hand, says it was the entire National Depression Week 2005 campaign that was co-sponsored by Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.
So let me get this right… was National Depression Week 2005 all to do with the launch of Cymbalta in the UK and precious little to do with Pulling Together – highlighting how people pull together to defeat the illness?
And just in case you’d missed it, here’s a link to some research about Cymbalta – the authors concluded that duloxetine [Cymbalta] reduces the painful physical symptoms of depression… you mean like general aches and pains?
And while you’re here – just look at the post directly below – especially the last paragraph.