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Digital Pharma: Novartis tells cystic fibrosis stories

pharmafile | February 25, 2010 | News story | Medical Communications Novartis, cystic fibrosis, digi, digi pharma, social media 

Novartis has launched a new disease awareness campaign for cystic fibrosis that blurs the lines between fact and fiction.

Its figurehead is ‘Christopher Morgan’, a fictional character Novartis has created to tell a story that’s based on the experiences of real people with cystic fibrosis.

Novartis first used the Christopher character in its Becoming Christopher and Christopher Chronicles films.

Now Christopher has his own Facebook page (US-only) and Twitter account – sample Tweet: “Have to admit, I’m a huge Miley Cyrus fan … her tattoo has helped raise awareness of CF and who doesn’t like her hit song Party in the USA?”

The merits of Ms Cyrus’ music aside, Christopher is doing a good job of linking to information sites that include Novartis’ all-ages online CF community CF Voice, and the non-profit Let’s Rock CF blog.

But his low Twitter follower count, which so far mainly includes industry observers, suggests more promotional work needs to be done if Novartis and Christopher are to connect with their target audience.

Cystic fibrosis

CF is a potentially fatal disorder that causes severe lung damage and nutritional deficiencies.

Current treatments aim to relieve symptoms and complications and include Novartis’ Tobi (tobramycin inhalation solution), which is the only FDA-approved inhaledantibiotic for treatment Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection.

This is a major cause of decreased lung function in patients with CF and Novartis’ online resources for this include the US-only TOBI Time website.

Dominic Tyer is web editor for Pharmafocus and InPharm.com and the author of the Digital Pharma blog He can be contacted via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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