Sumitomo anoints actor as first ‘Gemtesa Go-Getter’ in extended overactive bladder campaign

Sumitomo Pharma wants overactive bladder (OAB) patients to go, go, go to the doctor’s office. Working with 21 Jump Street actor Holly Robinson Peete again, the Japanese drugmaker is seeking to reframe the urgency to go to the bathroom as a trigger for taking steps to access treatment for OAB.

Urovant Sciences, one of the organizations rolled up into Sumitomo Pharma America, began a campaign with Robinson Peete early this year. The “Time To Go” campaign used the actor’s experience of having OAB symptoms, seeking treatment and benefiting from Sumitomo’s drug Gemtesa to raise awareness of the condition and ultimately spur other people to talk to their physicians. 

Sumitomo recently extended the campaign. The “Time To Go” message is staying in place for the second year of the campaign, with the key change being the addition of an accompanying “Gemtesa Go-Getter” program. Robinson Peete explained how the program reflects her life as a “busy mom, actress, traveler, and advocate.”

“My life is go, go, go. But when overactive bladder–OAB–made it so that all I could think about was, ‘I gotta go, go, go to the bathroom,’ I knew I had to make a change,” Robinson Peete said in a video about the program. “That was over a year ago, and now I’m making it my mission to change what ‘go, go, go,’ means in my life and share my experience with others.”

The campaign is seeking to reframe “go, go, go” to mean “go ask your doctor about Gemtesa, go talk about your symptoms and explore treatment options, and go become a Go-Getter yourself.” To Robinson Peete, “a Go-Getter is someone who refuses to let their lives revolve around the bathroom.” 

Sumitomo has added the Robinson Peete video about being a Go-Getter to its Gemtesa website, and is planning to feature patient ambassadors as part of the program to “showcase the real stories of how people proactively took steps to manage their OAB symptoms and encourage others to speak up about their experiences.”

North American sales of Gemtesa increased (PDF) 42% to $112 million in the second quarter. However, Sumitomo missed its $156 million sales forecast because volumes fell short of expectations. The plan to increase volumes is focused on increasing awareness, including through a “satellite media tour” and digital advertising online and in clinic waiting rooms.