Pfizer launches first-ever breast cancer radio with TV journo Meredith Vieira as host

Broadcast journalist Meredith Vieira interviews Teri Pollastro, who is living with MBC, in Pfizer's latest awareness campaign. (Pfizer)

Pfizer’s newest breast cancer awareness effort comes with its own streaming radio station.

The multichannel “Find Your MBC Voice” campaign launched Monday with a first-of-its-kind station, WMBC, programmed solely with content about metastatic breast cancer.

One of the station's first hosts is TV journalist Meredith Vieira, who helms a series dubbed “ABCs of MBC.” In it, she talks to patients, physicians and other experts about topics such as building relationships with care teams, assessing financial resources and talking to family and friends about MBC.

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Vieira has a personal connection to MBC: Her grandmother died from the disease. Alex Gruener, Pfizer's VP for U.S. oncology marketing, said Vieira remembered that her grandmother was overwhelmed and frightened after the diagnosis, which kept her from speaking up.

RELATED: Lilly's Verzenio shows up Ibrance, hitting its goal in early breast cancer after Pfizer's drug faltered

“We spent a lot of time thinking through the right approach ... We determined that we needed a platform where these individuals could share their stories and voice with others. As such, WMBC Radio was born,” Gruener said in an email interview, adding that radio was chosen in part because audio content lately “has proven to be popular and easy to consume.”

Another program on the station at launch is “Science of MBC” with host and well-known oncologist Elizabeth Comen emphasizing science-related topics such as research, treatment and clinical trials.

The campaign includes a TV ad that uses the words and questions of newly diagnosed patients to form images, symbolizing how daunting an MBC diagnosis can be. The 15-second ad encourages people to visit the “Find Your MBC Voice” campaign website. Additional digital and print content will help drive people living with MBC to the website, where they can also tune into the WMBC radio channel.

RELATED: Pfizer contest dares tech types to improve lives of metastatic breast cancer patients

“Find Your MBC Voice” joins Pfizer’s already-running unbranded MBC campaign “Story Half Told,” which focuses on support for MBC patients and caregivers. The new effort complements that work with its focus on empowerment in treatment decision-making, said Diego Sacristan, Pfizer’s regional president for its oncology business in North America, in an email interview.

“We got here by starting with a simple truth. The truth that when a woman or man is diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, they can feel overwhelmed, powerless, isolated and even invisible," he said. "And, even if they know what to say, they don’t always feel empowered to say it. We set out to help change all that."

Pfizer's Ibrance, which leads CDK treatments for MBC, earned $4.96 billion in 2019. More recently, the drug recorded sales of $2.6 billion for the first six months of 2020, up 9% year over year. Ibrance's chief competitors are Eli Lilly's Verzenio and Novartis' Kisqali, which had respective revenues of $580 million and $480 million in 2019.

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