Edelman helps AstraZeneca launch YouTube channel

NEW YORK: AstraZeneca is working with its PR firm Edelman to promote its Nexium YouTube channel.

NEW YORK: AstraZeneca is working with its PR firm Edelman to promote its newly launched Nexium YouTube channel.

The goal of the channel is to help consumers manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and highlight Nexium as a potential prescription treatment. The outlet contains videos that examine symptoms of the condition and describe how to counteract them.

“We know patients are very loyal to the brand, and we wanted to find a new way to connect with them,” said Stephanie Andrzejewski, director of brand corporate affairs at AstraZeneca.

There are also interactive components such as the sharable “Relief is at Hand” badge, which enables patients to show their commitment to fighting GERD by spreading it on Facebook and Twitter.

Many pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to launch branded offerings on social media because of a lack of FDA guidance for these channels as well as regulatory requirements that mandate companies investigate and report serious adverse events they receive through any communications medium. The turnaround period for a company to do so is 15 days.

AstraZeneca's channel has been in development for months. Until the FDA releases further information on responding to adverse events on social media, it has disabled comments on the channel, Andrzejewski said.

Edelman is helping the company with both content strategy as well as targeted media relations to draw attention to the effort, she said.

A representative from the firm deferred questions about the account to its client.

Nexium generated sales of $940 million in the first quarter of 2013, equal to almost 15% of AstraZeneca's total revenues. However, the company expects Nexium sales to decline in 2014 once it loses patent exclusivity.

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