Shire focuses on consumers with launch of ADHD drug

WAYNE, PA: Shire Pharmaceuticals announced its consumer-driven launch for Vyvanse, an ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drug for adults, on July 23. The FDA approved the drug for adults aged 18 to 55 in April, and for children aged 6 to 12 in July 2007.

WAYNE, PA: Shire Pharmaceuticals announced its consumer-driven launch for Vyvanse, an ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drug for adults, on July 23. The FDA approved the drug for adults aged 18 to 55 in April, and for children aged 6 to 12 in July 2007.

PR efforts kicked off with a press conference at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, led by Ty Pennington, patient spokesman and host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, who announced that a Shire-sponsored $10,000 scholarship will be available to a graduate student with ADHD.

The objective of PR efforts is to provide awareness about adult ADHD, noting that symptoms vary from adults to children and there was a market need, said Marlene Edmonds, product director for Vyvanse.

Media relations for the approval in April focused on trade and business press. The consumer launch pitched national and regional media outlets in the Atlanta area, which was selected by the PR team for the launch because it's a regional market, as well as Pennington's hometown.

The message concentrated on the consumer-entertainment angle, said Mindy Greene, account supervisor at Porter Novelli, AOR for Shire's ADHD portfolio, which provided support for the launch. Pennington had interviews with Ryan Seacrest and CNN's Glenn Beck the day of the press conference.

Efforts will continue through the end of the year. In August, "consumer-friendly" information about the drug and focus programs will be added to vyvanse.com, which will include features like appointment reminders and the ability to stream white noise, Edmonds said.

Shire will also hold its annual Experts on Call, an unbranded ADHD awareness event, on September 17. It will offer a 16-hour hotline staffed by psychologists, nurse practitioners, and general practitioners.

The biopharmaceutical company is based in Wayne, PA.
The budget for the effort was not disclosed.

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