Issue: Annually, more than 70 million postsurgical patients are prescribed opioids, and a new survey – conducted by Pacira Pharmaceuticals – revealed that one in 10 patients became addicted or dependent on these medications following surgery. To address this national epidemic, Pacira Pharmaceuticals and the American Society for Enhanced Recovery partnered on a national education campaign called “Choices Matter,” which is designed to educate and empower patients to proactively discuss postsurgical pain management, including non-opioid options, with their surgeons.
Idea: The year-long campaign, which launched in August, features Gabby Reece (former athlete and broadcast personality), whose recent knee replacement operation has made this a personal issue, and sports medicine surgeon Dr. Scott Sigman (Team Physician for the U.S. Ski Jump Team, former Chief of Orthopedics at Lowell General Hospital and Appointee of Governor Baker’s (MA) Commission to Examine the Feasibility of Establishing a Pain Management Access Program). The program included a national study of consumers and physicians and a non-branded consumer website called www.planagainstpain.com as a resource to educate consumers and provide tools to drive a dialogue with their physician.
Impact: In the first two weeks following launch, the team secured more than 103 traditional and social media placements resulting in more than 355 million media impressions. Highlights to date include USA Today, Good Day New York, Inc. Magazine, Reuters TV, AOL Sports, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC-TV, Doctors Radio on Sirius XM, Self.com, Yahoo, and CBS New York (Dr. Max Gomez feature). Most importantly, Pacira is receiving tremendous feedback on the program from both patients and current/potential customers who are lauding the campaign. In fact, one patient wrote that after hearing Gabby’s story, she was motivated to stop taking opioids after relying on them for 11 weeks following a total knee replacement.