Leo Pharma tells atopic dermatitis stories from around the world

Leo Pharma has launched a campaign to raise awareness of atopic dermatitis (AD) across cultures. In partnership with a global patient advocate, Ashley Ann Lora, the new AD Days Around the World campaign features the journey of four patients from France, Italy, Germany and Spain living with the chronic skin disease.

The campaign uses the real patient stories of four women—Marjolaine, Laura, Julia and Africa—to educate and inform others living with the disease. Each patient is at different stages in her life and Lora aims to tell their stories in a documentary-style video featuring the challenges and strengths.

“People don’t see eczema as a big deal, but it can cause so much suffering,” explained Lora in a press release. “My hope is that the experiences shared through these stories will help people living with AD feel seen, heard and connected to others around the world with this condition. I also hope these personal stories help others gain a better understanding of their own eczema and their relationship with this condition. People living with AD don’t have to suffer; there are resources to help manage the condition and ways to enjoy life alongside it.” 

“When we started building this campaign a year ago, the goal was to raise awareness of the disease and let the patients' voice be heard,” Judit H. Nyirady, vice president of Leo Pharma A/S Global Medical Affairs, told Fierce Pharma Marketing. “It lets people know they are not alone with the disease.”

Nyirady went on to describe AD as debilitating not only for a person’s skin but also their social and emotional well-being. Therefore, the team at Leo Pharma began working with patient organizations in Europe to collect stories of patients living a better life by managing their disease in hopes of inspiring others.

An important aspect of the campaign is that it speaks to patients globally, as Leo is a worldwide company with offices in Europe, U.S. and Asia. The messages from the patients in the videos reaffirm that the disease affects patients of all genders and races similarly around the world. Leo Pharma worked with patient advocacy groups to recruit volunteers willing to share their stories. The campaign will continue into next year and will expand to include the voices of men and women in the U.S. and Asia.

The back end of the campaign website features links to patient organizations in the featured countries plus a tool for patients on how to find and talk with their physician about AD. The guides steer patients on what questions to ask a doctor and how to prepare for their medical visit.

“The focus of the campaign is listening to the patients’ voices to increase awareness within the patient community,” Nyirady said. “Within this message is the implication that there is a way to control the disease so you can live a better life and forget about AD, even for part of the day.”

 What makes this AD campaign unique is that the patient interviews are conducted by Lora, an AD patient of more than 25 years.

“When she interviews the patients, you can just feel the connection,” Nyirady said. “She can relate so well, it’s chilling to watch in the videos.”

Moving forward, Leo said it will localize the campaign with the help of regional AD associations. Plus, patients are encouraged to tease the videos through social media.