One look: AstraZeneca unifies patient-physician messaging for asthma blockbuster Fasenra

AstraZeneca is refreshing its Fasenra campaign. Almost six years into the launch, the Big Pharma has established consistent messaging across physicians and patients for the first time, tying the brand to the line “Move Forward With Fasenra” as it seeks to drive growth of the blockbuster asthma drug.

The FDA approved Fasenra in the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma in 2017, and, while efforts to expand the label have stumbled, the drug has gone on to rack up blockbuster sales in its lead indication. Now, AstraZeneca has identified a unified message as the key to further growth, as Matt Gray, executive business director, Fasenra marketing, explained in an interview with Fierce Pharma Marketing.

“We've got one feel, one look, one message across consumers and HCPs,” Gray said. “We're consistent in the way we're presenting our digital assets, what we're doing with HCPs in their offices, our television ads, as well as our presence at congresses. I think it's really paying off for us. We've seen really great results through the first part of the year.”

AstraZeneca has run a pair of Fasenra TV spots in recent months. Both ads are based around the idea “remember the things you loved before asthma got in the way,” showing a woman getting a motorbike out of storage to ride and, in the first TV spot, a man going fishing as examples of the sorts of activities that the condition can stop people from enjoying.

The focus on small pleasures reflects AstraZeneca’s interactions with asthma patients, which convinced it “they don't want the big aspirational go-climb-a-mountain thing,” Gray said. Rather, patients want their lives back and, more specifically, “want something that's positive in their daily life, things like gardening, riding a motorcycle, getting out and doing some fishing.”

Those insights led AstraZeneca to craft the campaign around the idea that Fasenra can free patients from oral steroids and asthma exacerbations, thereby addressing their frustrations and empowering people to move forward with their lives. 

AstraZeneca has paired the consumer-focused campaign with materials aimed at physicians that hit the same beats. As Gray sees things, the “consistency allows the doctor to have a great conversation with their patient” by supporting a shared understanding of how eosinophils drive asthma in some people and how Fasenra can address the problem. The consistency extends to a focus on motorbikes. 

“A motorcycle gives you that feeling of freedom and moving forward,” Gray said. “We've got a motorcycle in the booth [at congresses]. Our HCPs love it. They come over, they'll jump on. We have some photography there for our customers as well.”