PM360 2018 Trailblazer Awards Infectious Disease Brand Champion Robert Ashton

Robert Ashton, Senior Director – Marketing and Commercial Operations, Theravance Biopharma

Everybody wins. That is the ultimate goal when you work in the life sciences industry. To be able to say that not only did your work benefit your company, but also patients, doctors, and the hospitals for whom they work, is a goal we all hope to achieve. Robert Ashton made that happen with his work on VIBATIV, an intravenous (IV) antibiotic used in the hospital setting for critically ill patients.

VIBATIV was a newer IV antibiotic introduced in a very crowded, increasingly genericized, and competitive marketplace. Physicians were initially unsure where to use VIBATIV, not to mention entrenched and comfortable with their current products. Additionally, many of the products being used were generic, thus minimal drug acquisition cost for the hospital. But, Robert saw a way to cut through all the noise by positioning VIBATIV for initial uptake with an underserved and critically ill patient type—the HABP/VABP patient.

The features of the campaign included cutting-edge imagery that clearly communicated to the HCP audience where to use VIBATIV. And, from a copy perspective, the language instilled a sense of victory—the VIBATIV for Victory—over the organism causing the infection. VIBATIV quickly became known to those using it as the “connoisseur’s” drug. But more than that, those HCPs who knew when and where to use VIBATIV ultimately discovered that it benefitted both their patient and their hospital.

In many situations, VIBATIV demonstrated high clinical cure rates for the hospital, reduced patients’ length of stay, and ultimately saved money for those accounts using the brand. And thanks to Robert’s strategy and VIBATIV’s results, formulary acceptance increased over 200% year-over-year in targeted accounts, and net sales (measured in dollars) saw incremental growth on a year-over-year basis.


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