Incyte rolls regional TV ads to help patients track PV symptoms before doc visits

Incyte's new TV and streaming radio ad campaign targets diagnosed polycythemia vera patients to help them understand and track symptoms. (Incyte)

Incyte's latest awareness push aims to help polycythemia vera (PV) patients understand their disease and track their symptoms. And it's targeting five regions where PV is most common.

The “Change The Way You View PV” campaign, which includes TV ads, Pandora radio and digital work, is starting out in markets with high numbers of diagnosed patients—Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Atlanta. The prevalence of PV, a rare blood cancer, is about 100,000 people in the U.S.

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“It’s a very underserved patient population, so we know this information is going to be useful for all patients—whether they are just diagnosed or whether they happen to fit into an indication where one of our products can be used,” said John Krukiel, head of Incyte product strategy.

Incyte markets Jakafi in the U.S., where it was approved to treat PV in 2014. It's also approved to treat the rare bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis. The drug also recently picked up a first-ever approval to treat acute graft-versus-host disease.

The new PV television spots point out that symptoms such as night sweats, fatigue and itching can increase over time and encourage patients to take notice. The ad's final screen redirects people to TakeActionPV.com, which offers a discussion guide and symptom tracker along with an email sign-up option for more resources.

While the campaign is only a few weeks old, feedback from healthcare providers and patients already is encouraging, Krukiel said.

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“One of the core concepts of the campaign when testing (the work) with patients was ‘You look good, but you don’t feel good.’ Every single patient we talked to said, ‘That’s absolutely me. Whether I’m talking to my physician or whether I’m talking to a family member, they say you can’t have a chronic cancer because you look good,’” Krukiel said.

Print ads will begin soon in the five markets, and Incyte plans to evaluate the success of the campaign later this month or next with an eye toward expanding it into other regions.