Lilly adds new Coco the Type 1 monkey tale to its Disney bookshelf

With a couple of meds for Type 1 diabetes--the type that's usually diagnosed in children and young adults--in its lineup, Eli Lilly ($LLY) has a vested interest in helping children and their parents understand the disease. And on that front, it's just released a new book to add to a growing collection of kid-friendly materials.

The book--Go, Team Coco!--is the fourth in a Disney series that features what Lilly calls a "charismatic and fun-loving monkey" who has the malady. The most recent installment chronicles how Coco and her family cope with her diagnosis, establish new routines at home and go for her first follow-up visit to the doctor, according to the Indianapolis drugmaker. It'll be available in most pediatric endocrinologists' offices around the U.S.

"Since launching the first book four years ago, these stories have inspired and motivated children and families affected by the disease," Mike Mason, Lilly Diabetes' U.S. VP, said in a statement.

Lilly's Type 1 materials--and its Disney ($DIS) partnership--extend far beyond Coco. The collaboration brings popular Disney character Hannah Montana into the fold, and it features a number of books from Disney-owned ESPN about kids with Type 1 achieving their athletic dreams. The site, www.T1EverydayMagic.com, also offers recipes and video profiles of children living with the disease.

The books' characters help "readers understand that with proper planning and management, children with diabetes and their families can still have fun and do things that children without the condition can do," Lilly said.

The company is hoping the added exposure will help boost Type 1 offerings Humulin and Humalog, both of which have already lost patent protection. Thanks to price hikes, though, Lilly's Type 1 sales are still growing: Between 2007 and 2014, the price for Humulin shot up 354%, Bloomberg reported last year, and in 2014 Humulin and Humalog turned out growth of 6% and 7%, respectively.

Lilly needs that expansion. In 2014, those numbers softened the blow from generic attacks on meds like Cymbalta and Evista, which each saw their sales sink by 60% or more.

- read Lilly's release

Special Reports: 10 big brands keep pumping out big bucks, with a little help from price hikes - Humulin - Eli Lilly | Top 15 drug patent losses for 2013 - Humalog

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