BeiGene boosts mental health resources for cancer patients as it doubles down on 'Talk About It' campaign

BeiGene is launching a new resource website at to honor World Cancer Day as it looks to double down on its links to the disease and mental health.  

Part of the pharma’s “Talk About It” campaign, the site was a result of BeiGene’s newly released report from a survey of cancer patients and their caregivers on managing mental and emotional well-being.

According to the report—based on a study by Cancer Support Community—emotional distress is prevalent across cancer communities, and many patients and survivors are not getting the mental health support they need.

The survey also highlights the barriers keeping patients from obtaining mental health support and solutions that encompass whole-body healing.

“Through discussions with patient advocacy organizations, BeiGene repeatedly heard mental health concerns emerge as a pressing issue impacting all aspects of patients’ lives—across age, cancer type and stage of disease,” a spokesperson for BeiGene told Fierce Pharma Marketing.  

“So, we did the work we are here to do; we listened. Our patient-centric focus gave us the motivation to humbly act on what we heard from the patient, advocacy, psycho-oncology and healthcare communities.”

BeiGene, which markets blood cancer drug Brukinsa, will continue to develop the site with help from an advisory panel of mental health, oncology, patient advocacy and behavioral health experts. Ultimately, linking mental health resources into comprehensive cancer treatment policies and practices.

The "Talk About It" program was originally launched in 2022 to connect mental health and cancer care. But the latest report brings up new statistics, including data revealing that one-quarter of people with cancer are depressed and 20% have anxiety.

The website curates mental health resources featuring printable information and links to resources offered by advocacy organizations to help patients and caregivers.

According to the BeiGene spokesperson, caregivers are a vital part of this program. In fact, research shows a strong correlation between cancer caregivers and the development of anxiety and depression, and some suffer similar or even higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder than cancer patients themselves.

“We have heard from caregivers and experts that caregivers often feel the need to be strong for their loved one and so may not prioritize their own mental well-being,” the spokesperson said.

Initially, BeiGene is using social media and patient groups to get the word out about The marketing team also hopes that healthcare providers who hear about the program will share the resources with their patients.

In the survey of 600 cancer patients in the U.S., 60% of respondents never received a physician referral for a mental health professional, and as many as two out of five people who specifically asked for mental health support never got it.

So why are the numbers of patients receiving care so low? For one, patients’ attitudes towards their mental health: They believe that they can solve it on their own, 45%, or that the problem will eventually get better, 24%, and concerns about the side effects of medication, 22%. In addition, there is a stigma around mental health treatment that makes patients feel weak or ashamed of asking for help.

Finally, there are the practical barriers such as the cost of mental health treatment, 26%, unsure of where to get help, 19%, and difficulty taking off time from work, 12%.

Despite stigmas and barriers, patients in the survey seemed very open to activities to complement medications and counseling for mental health. For example, they were open to exercise, 66%, meditation classes, 62%, nutrition programs, 61%, and support groups, 60%.

Although mental health has always been a component of a cancer diagnosis, COVID increased the need for mental health support for everyone. Especially being an at-risk population with an immunocompromised status, social distancing, restricted access to physicians, and delays in treatment increased psychological distress among cancer patients and survivors.

The spokesperson continued: “We know that BeiGene alone cannot remove the barriers that stand in the way of patients and caregivers getting the support they need on their cancer journey.”