Sanofi highlights blood sugar 'balancing act' in newest U.K. diabetes campaign

Sanofi's newest U.K. diabetes campaign is all about balance.

What does a tightrope-walking stunt have to do with diabetes? One word: balance.

That’s the message Sanofi is trying to get across with its new U.K. diabetes awareness campaign, dubbed “Highs & Lows: Better balance for a better future”—which, yes, did include a tightrope stunt at London’s Southbank.

According to new research from the company, more than half of diagnosed, insulin-taking Type 2 diabetes patients find it challenging to balance their blood glucose levels or worry about doing it. But if they don’t, those challenges and worries can lead to potentially serious long-term health implications.

Type 2 patients “are making fear-driven decisions in the ‘here and now’ to prevent low blood glucose levels, without considering that high blood glucose levels can have serious implications on their health in the future as well. They need more support in order to be successful at this blood sugar ‘balancing act,’” Max Pemberton, a London-based general practitioner and psychiatrist, said in a statement.

Enter Sanofi’s new campaign, which Sanofi UK medical therapy expert Mike Baxter says is meant to help patients “feel motivated to seek the help that they may need to navigate” that “balancing act.” The effort includes a website complete with a blood-sugar checklist, a discussion guide patients can use with their doctors, and information about recognizing and managing the disease. 

Sanofi, meanwhile, is facing a different kind of diabetes struggle. The French drugmaker, whose diabetes franchise has historically been its anchor business, has suffered in the U.S. from formulary exclusions by some payers and forced discounts from others. And European biosimilars to top med Lantus aren’t helping the matter.

The pharma giant does have a new product in the U.S., though, that it hopes can help ease the pain. Soliqua, which combines Lantus, a basal insulin, with recently approved GLP-1 drug Adlyxin, won the FDA’s favor earlier this month.

It remains to be seen what kind of discounts and rebates Sanofi will have to offer up to payers to snag top formulary positioning, though—and on top of that challenge, Soliqua will also be facing off against nemesis Xultophy from Novo Nordisk, a fellow basal insulin-GLP-1 combo med that won its FDA go-ahead the very same day Soliqua did.