Putting patients first to deliver commercial impact

Our challenge.

Parkinson’s is a disease of certain loss but with a high degree of uncertainty regarding progression. There are no objective measures for evaluating wellbeing. Tolerability and effectiveness of treatment are subjective.

UCB is recognised as a leader in neurology despite more limited resources and expenditure than many of its larger competitors. However, local activations and communications around Neupro were highly inconsistent from market to market and varied in success.

Our task was to create a global Neupro strategy to give clarity to patients, physicians and employees and to further progress the business towards its goal of becoming a patient preferred biopharma leader.


Success required sensitivity to stakeholder needs and multiple touchpoints. From engaging with country teams to understand local opportunities and pitfalls to immersing with physicians to deconstruct the treatment journey and the role of quality-of-life.

Achieving a balance between a more disruptive patient-first perspective and a closer-in clinical-focused strategy, which would be easily understood by payers, physicians and many internal stakeholders, was crucial to the success of the project.

Mapping growth by patient segment

Our challenge.

Our Growth Map sat at the heart of the new global strategy, built around two dimensions. One determined primarily by disease stage and speed of progression, to ensure the patient would ultimately be recognisable to healthcare professionals. And a subjective need lens which captured what the patient wanted from their treatment and quality-of-life to bridge the understanding gap with physicians.

This framework, embedded as part of a global summit, delivered the clarity of a single-minded opportunity space. One that delivered the promise of future dollars and the potential for distinctive Neupro positioning and messaging in an increasingly congested marketplace.

The success of the strategy was determined by internal adoption.

The only way of guaranteeing the longevity of the strategy was to cascade this throughout the multi-layered structure and demonstrate its commercial and patient benefit to those on the front-line.

A series of training workshops and test and learn feedback from the field allowed us to refine the activation and bring clarity of story for both physicians and the reps selling to them.

The impact

With no prospect of discernible improvements, anything that maintains a Parkinson’s patient’s independence is a “win”. By wrapping an emotive patient-centric story around Neupro’s continuous 24-hour delivery and symptom predictability, CLEAR delivered positioning clarity for patients, physicians and internal stakeholders.

The targeted patient mindset now sits at the heart of all Neupro communications and messaging strategy.

In 2018, Neupro hit peak sales, and is still growing.

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