Horizon draws on comparison to weeds in a garden for gout in new campaign  

Horizon Therapeutics likens the underlying issues of gout, namely uric acid, to weeds in a garden in a new campaign timed for National Kidney Month.

The unbranded educational campaign, “Weed it G’out”, features animated spots aimed at educating viewers with the gardening analogy about the connection between uric acid, gout and chronic kidney disease.

Ultimately, the goal is to get gout patients to take the disease seriously and speak to a gout specialist. Horizon, which markets gout drug Krystexxa and made $716 million from the drug last year, will also sponsor an immersive pop-up garden experience featuring oversized kidney-shaped mounds planted with local flowers that are being swallowed up by weeds at three of National Kidney Foundation Kidney Walks.

If it all seems a little out there—weeds—garden—uric acid—gout—kidney disease— that’s the point.

“We're always trying to do something unique and visual to bring to light these lesser understood, lesser seen impacts of the disease. So every time we're going into campaign planning, we’re thinking ‘how else can we illustrate the damage that can be caused by gout and uric acid levels?” Gina Granat, Horizon’s senior manager, product communications said in an interview with Fierce Pharma Marketing. 

Gardening also works because while gout can affect all ages, a strong demographic is older adults and within that group gardening as a popular hobby.

In addition to the pop-ups, “Weed it G’out” features a multi-channel campaign with paid media both audio and video. There’s outreach with HCPs and nurses, a Facebook page and a main website all with the goal of stressing the importance of not ignoring gout. While it was launched for National Kidney Month it will continue beyond especially for Gout Awareness day on May 22.

“This is a common disease—a lot of people have this problem. The other thing is, it's not their fault,” Brad Marder, M.D., medical director at Horizon Therapeutics explained. “Gout is a disease that stigmatized by drinking alcohol or eating too much, but the reality is, most gout comes from under excretion by the kidneys.

It's not really that the patient is doing something wrong. We really want patients to understand that it's not their fault. It's a common thing, and that if they see their medical professional, they can get it treated.”