Boehringer Ingelheim partners with telenovela for diabetes storyline

The drama is on for Boehringer Ingelheim. On TV, that is. The pharma has struck a deal with a Telemundo telenovela set in Los Angeles called "Bajo el Mismo Cielo" for a diabetes awareness campaign--and with it, BI becomes the first drugmaker with an integrated storyline on the Spanish language channel.

One of the characters on the soap opera, Andres Cabrera, suffers from Type 2 diabetes, and his storyline will follow his disease management beginning Wednesday. Custom vignettes hosted by Juan Cepero, the actor who plays Cabrera, will air during the show and will direct viewers to visit for more information.

Along with the telenovela storyline and website, the campaign will include videos on and Boehringer-sponsored segments on Telemundo's morning talk show "Un Nuevo Día," including Q&A sessions with health experts provided by Boehringer, cooking demos with the show's chef, James Tahhan, and a "Truth or Myth" segment using Type 2 diabetes facts.

Boehringer sells a variety of diabetes drugs in partnership with Eli Lilly ($LLY), including the SGLT2 med Jardiance, which last week became the first diabetes treatment to show a cardiovascular benefit in a clinical trial. The two also market the DPP-4 inhibitor Tradjenta, and a new combo drug Glyxambi, pairing Jardiance and Tradjenta.

NBCUniversal's Raquel Egusquiza

"This first-of-its-kind partnership with a pharmaceutical company offers us a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our viewers by delivering vital diabetes awareness messaging through a character on a primetime novela," NBCUniversal exec Raquel Egusquiza said in a press release. "Boehringer Ingelheim's established expertise on this topic is a valuable resource to support our Prevenir Es Vivir campaign, and we're thrilled to be conveying our shared message through this innovative format."

Telemundo launched the Prevenir Es Vivir (Prevention is Life) platform in March with the mission to drive education and awareness about general health and wellness, with an emphasis on diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity. Health segments and quarterly specials, along with PSAs, appear on a variety of programs across the Telemundo network.

Egusquiza noted when that program launched: "Hispanics represent 17% of the American population, yet close to half of those residents don't visit a doctor or medical provider in a given year. With Prevenir Es Vivir, we are focused on leveraging our expansive reach and trusted influence to break language barriers and provide a broad resource for relevant health information to the Latino community."

- read the Telemundo news

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