Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
One in three adults who should screen for colon cancer don’t—in part because the traditional screening method, a colonoscopy, is perceived as so invasive. Maneesh Arora, knowing that colon cancer is the most preventable form of cancer, wanted to change that statistic.
Maneesh led the commercial charge to offer a unique, innovative solution that patients would accept to close that screening gap. That solution: Cologuard, a stool DNA-based screening test that can be done at home—the first screening program to pair highly sensitive detection technology with a robust patient compliance program. Noninvasive and easy to use, it is a sophisticated test in a box.
It seemed that Cologuard would be easy for physicians to adopt, but habits built over five decades don’t change easily. So Maneesh and his team took on the challenge from a number of different angles. Prior to launch, a disease awareness campaign was established (Be Seen, Get Screened) to demonstrate the company’s commitment to colon cancer prevention, assuring gastroenterologists that the goal was to direct the right patients toward a diagnostic colonoscopy.
At launch, the team armed a new sales force to educate PCPs on the high science and high accuracy of Cologuard. While market research indicated patient acceptance would be high, it was imperative to ensure PCPs would be knowledgeable and prepared to answer patient questions. In 2016, Exact Sciences performed a DTC advertising pilot. Significant results followed and the spot, featuring an animated test box (Lil CG), went into national release.
The results are accomplishing Exact Sciences’ mission: Get more patients screened. To date, more than 60,000 providers have prescribed Cologuard, and more than 350,000 people have taken the test. A survey of Cologuard users age 50-75 show 42% had never been screened before. And Cologuard compliance? 67%—attributed to active patient outreach from a dedicated team at Exact Sciences Laboratories.
A result of ambitious thinking, the Exact Sciences Customer Care team supports patient screening compliance, bringing new meaning to value and effectiveness. Maneesh played a critical role in driving Cologuard execution and improving colon cancer screening in the industry and across the U.S. A very worthy goal.