Bristol Myers Squibb kicks off Sotyktu campaign to give 'clear understanding' of life with psoriasis

Bristol Myers Squibb is spreading a “clear understanding” of what it’s like to live with psoriasis. Pushing to grow Sotyktu sales, the drugmaker has kicked off a new campaign focused on the patient experience. 

Bristol Myers Squibb won approval for Sotyktu in plaque psoriasis 11 months ago and began promoting the medicine in a TV spot at the Grammy Awards early this year. Now, the company is back with a new campaign—“Clear Understanding”—centered on three people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. 

Al, a man who was diagnosed with psoriasis more than 30 years ago, is the focus of the campaign website. In a video, we see Al driving a car while explaining that “being who I am as a mechanic, I need to understand how it works, and how to fix it.” Because of that side of his character, Al is frustrated when there is something he “can’t even comprehend or do anything about.” That lack of information and ability to act characterized the early years of Al’s life with psoriasis. 

“I get a hug from my wife at night, she’ll grab a patch and make me feel uncomfortable and feel rejected. I can’t be as free as I want to be until now,” Al said. “I just tried to keep it away from them. I just tried to not make them look at me in a different way.”

Al decided something had to change when “a fairly large patch of psoriasis” prevented surgeons from replacing his hip. The spur to action led Al to Bristol Myers Squibb's recently approved drug. Now, Al has “a fairly normal life” and “can wear short sleeves and shorts in good weather.” As Al discusses his new life on Sotyktu, we see him embracing his wife and driving a sports car.  

The website features written statements by two other psoriasis patients, neither of whom is taking Sotyktu. Both women discuss the importance of having a “clear understanding” of the skin disease. 

Bristol Myers Squibb has created a quiz for visitors to the website. The quiz features three questions about the impact of psoriasis on interactions with family, friends and colleagues. The responses to the questions determine which quote from the three profiled patients is presented.

The campaign comes as the drugmaker works to grow Sotyktu sales beyond the $25 million it racked up in the second quarter. Bristol Myers Squibb sold its psoriasis drug, Otezla, to Amgen to secure regulatory clearance for its takeover of Celgene. The deal included the then-investigational Sotyktu, which has since been added to Bristol Myers Squibb's pipeline.