Right on Cue: Pfizer keeps up cadence of COVID-19 risk awareness pushes with another diagnostic pact

Pfizer is once again looking to a diagnostic developer to drum up interest in its COVID-19 drug. Having kicked off the strategy last year through deals with Lucira Health and Roche, the Big Pharma has now partnered with Cue Health to raise awareness of the risks of progressing to severe COVID-19.

Facing a predicted 58% drop in annual sales of its COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid, Pfizer is searching for ways to persuade people of the need to get a prescription when they test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The search has led the drugmaker to try to target patients at the key point in the process: the moment they receive a positive COVID-19 test result. 

Cue is one of the companies delivering those test results. As a result of the new partnership, users of the Cue Health App will have access to educational resources such as the materials on knowplango.com, a Pfizer website that explains the factors that put people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and how they can access oral treatments. Pfizer tapped four celebrities to push the message in a TV spot in January.

The information will be accessible to users of a platform that is designed to close the care loop. Users of Cue Care that receive positive test results for COVID-19 and some other conditions can arrange to have a treatment made available for collection at a local pharmacy and talk to a clinician from within the app. Pfizer sees promise in the approach, which could make it easier for patients to get Paxlovid. 

“Connected health solutions like the Cue platform offer potential for faster and more convenient access to care. Our collaboration provides an opportunity to improve the test-to-treatment experience for patients and communities at high risk, which includes people 50 years of age and older,” JoyL Silva, the global and U.S. antiviral franchise lead at Pfizer, said in a statement.

Pfizer partnered with the provider of another test-to-treat service, Lucira, last year. However, with sales of COVID-19 test kits falling and the authorization of a flu combination test taking longer than expected, Lucira recently filed for bankruptcy. Pfizer followed up the Lucira deal by persuading Roche to allow it to add a QR code linking to its COVID-19 website to the Swiss firm’s Pilot COVID-19 At-Home Test.