J&J aims to create community for PAH patients and their doctors with new Uptravi campaign

Emily is one of the pulmonary arterial hypertension patients who tells her story in Johnson & Johnson's new campaign for Uptravi. (Johnson & Johnson's Janssen)

Johnson & Johnson is drawing connections—literally—between physicians and their pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients in a new effort for Uptravi.

Created with online patient network The Mighty, the website features hand-drawn videos with patient and physician voice-overs telling their stories about the rare, progressive blood pressure disorder.

The website serves as a source of information and support but also as a place for patients, caregivers and loved ones to come together as a community.

While oral Uptravi was first approved to treat PAH to delay disease progression in 2015, J&J's Janssen unit recently filed an intravenous formulation of the drug for FDA approval. J&J acquired Uptravi through its $30 billion purchase of Actelion in 2017.

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Some 30,000 people in the U.S. are living with PAH, and, is as often the case in rare diseases, typically the first time a patient hears about the disorder is when they're diagnosed.

“They're dealing with a complex condition, and oftentimes don't know where to turn and don't have anywhere to turn," said Jeremy Mann, senior director of marketing, patient marketing and customer experience at Janssen.

The goal of the project is “to connect patients to each other and to a place where they can consume information to help them in dealing with the isolation and overwhelming nature of PAH," he said.

Housed on The Mighty’s platform, Janssen’s custom PAH community page is the cornerstone of the effort. Social media efforts on both Janssen and The Mighty's Facebook and Twitter pages drive people to the site.

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Since its launch in November 2020, the site has garnered more than 400,000 video views, with an average time of eight minutes spent on the page.

As a branded effort, Uptravi is mentioned throughout the page, including in the patient videos.

“We've seen people … posting positive comments, tagging other people, allowing others to access content,” Mann said. “It creates a positive spiral. … [U]ltimately, I believe we have made a significant dent in addressing those challenges of isolation and in patients feeling overwhelmed, especially now in COVID-19.”