Novartis uses Breast Cancer Awareness Month to launch video series for personal cancer stories

Think of October and you will imagine falling leaves, Halloween and colder nights, but it’s an important month in oncology as it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, Novartis is looking to boost awareness by tapping personal stories of those living with the disease.

The Swiss Big Pharma, which markets late-stage breast cancer drug Kisqali, launched a new video series centered on two patients who both use the drug: Rose and Dee.

In a 10-minute video, Rose talks openly about how her breast cancer returned and had spread and that “time is the most important thing,” especially after her second diagnosis.

She says that time is “the most generous gift you can give somebody, too,” with the implication being Kisqali, approved for metastatic breast cancer, is potentially able to give her that extra time by delaying the progress of the disease.

It's a similar story for Dee, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer without any history of the disease. Despite this shocking diagnosis, she talks in her 10-minute video about being “focused on living each day in the best way possible.”

“We hope that, by sharing these stories, we will instill a sense of hope in other people living with metastatic breast cancer and their families and help empower them as they advocate for their health,” a Novartis spokesperson told Fierce Pharma Marketing.

This theme follows on from Novartis' first DTC spot on broadcast TV, launched in August, featuring a real Kisqali patient in Lauren. Besides being in the ad, Lauren is also featured in the real patient stories alongside Dee and Rose.

The 15-second commercial was set up as a short interview segment with Lauren talking about the need for a strong breast cancer community and that it is “still OK to hope” despite having a breast cancer diagnosis.

The new video series campaign is designed “to reflect the emotional journey and experiences of real patients with metastatic breast cancer, and their hopes and aspirations,” the Novartis spokesperson told Fierce Pharma Marketing.

Kisqali was approved by the FDA back in 2018 and should break the blockbuster threshold this year after making $937 million in sales in 2021, up a major 36% year on year.