Heart attack survivors speak up for AstraZeneca’s Brilinta in new campaign

AstraZeneca launched a new campaign for its clot-fighter Brilinta with patients who note they are survivors, not victims.

Survivors are at the heart of AstraZeneca's new DTC campaign for clot-fighter Brilinta.

They are tough-talking patients who don’t see themselves as victims after a heart attack, but rather survivors. AstraZeneca said the work was born out of the insight that although a heart attack often triggers an emotional journey for patients, people prefer to think of themselves as strong and independent fighters who will continue to tackle life’s challenges and enjoy the experiences that matter most to them.

The new TV ad features close-ups of the faces of people who have suffered heart attacks as they talk about not being victims. “We are survivors,” intones one after the other.

“The DTC campaign captures the spirit it takes to fight for every heartbeat and lower the risk of another heart attack through powerful, authentic portraits of survivors and their loved ones who give them the motivation to take control of their health; this includes children, grandchildren, even the family pet,” Sarah Walters, AstraZeneca's executive director for its cardiovascular franchise, said in an email interview.

Walters added that she believes the new ad’s message will resonate with patients and help inspire “meaningful patient-to-physician conversations.”

AstraZeneca recently reported sales of $244 million for Brilinta in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 27% year over year. Sales of the drug grew 24% in the U.S., but they did even better in emerging markets, where revenues increased by 54% to $60 million. 

AstraZeneca dialed back sales expectations last fall after Brilinta failed a trial for a new indication in peripheral artery disease (PAD), its second tanked trial in less than 6 months. But AZ is continuing with other studies—including a final outcomes study—and as CEO Pascal Soriot told investors during the company's Q1 briefing last week, “we remain confident that Brilinta will become a $1 billion blockbuster product this year.”