"RASHIKU" LantusXR Support Program
Sanofi’s LANTUS® XR is a new insulin injection drug for patients diagnosed with diabetes. Insulin injections, while effective, are often perceived as a last resort, and together with the anxiety, time and effort required to inject every day, many patients are uneager to undergo treatment. Many that do begin receiving insulin treatment quit the process at some point along the way. As a result, the burden of medical professionals to persuade and encourage reluctant patients have continued to grow. It was necessary to develop a support program that will remove patient’s anxiety, give morale support and practical advice so that patients could feel comfortable with insulin injections. The development of the program was a joint effort by Sanofi and Havas Tokyo. Havas was in charge of planning and creative work.
We wanted to create a truly engaging patient support program that sees diabetes treatment from the patient’s perspective, not from the perspective of health care professionals (HCPs) so that patients can “start” and “continue” with insulin injections in confidence. In the past, communication focused on ideal ways of injecting insulin from HCPs’ point of view. For this project, an in-depth ethnography field study was conducted to learn details of patients’ everyday life. By learning the results of these studies, HCPs were able to put themselves in patients’ shoes for the first time to come up with strong insights including what, when, and where patients need support and when they feel most vulnerable. The result is a diabetes patient support program that covered a wide range of unmet patient needs.
To support the “Start” phase, we created a Starter Kit booklet that includes all the basic information pertaining to the disease and treatment. Bright rainbow colors were used in the design to lighten up the mood of patients who have anxieties. Also, careful attention was paid to details such as text size, depiction through illustrations and language so the booklet will be easy-to-understand to elderly patients. For the “Continue” phase, patients are encouraged to register and receive any or a combination of the following support programs. For patients living on their own or feeling strong anxiety, we set-up an exclusive HCP support hotline so patients can call to seek advice and address any concerns. An digital app was developed to help patients monitor their injection schedules, glucose levels and everyday meals. Periodicals were available for subscription (physical or digital) so patients can receive additional information on everyday life tips.
Many HCPs are starting to show interest in support programs which are truly patient-centric and the “Rashiku” program is gaining a steady foothold in many hospitals. Patients who have participated in the program have expressed high scores of satisfaction in our questionnaire survey.
The “Rashiku” program is a “Prescription of Hope”
It is a new challenge by a pharmaceutical company to support patients’ long-term struggle with disease not just through medicine alone but through a more comprehensive understanding of patients’ insights. It is our wish that this support program act as “prescription of hope” and patients are able to start and continue their insulin treatment with hope and confidence.