Drug launch to address menstrual issues

Skill area: POM to P switch product launch

Objective: Launch Femstrual 500mg to consumers and community pharmacists

Following a POM to P switch, tranexamic acid - which had been used to control heavy menstrual periods since 1972 - was to be available from pharmacies without a prescription.

Gravitas briefed the pharmacy media on Femstrual and its comprehensive counter-staff training materials. Our client had competition on the same product so subtle points of difference needed to be communicated. When the main rival scored an 'own goal’ by not releasing their product to independent pharmacists, we capitalised on this by briefing the press that Femstrual was available to all, a true PR victory in trade terms.

The switch enabled millions of women to make an informed decision to take control and self-medicate a condition many found embarrassing. Our programme hinged on the twin themes of 'self-help’ and 'taboo’ and the many women left suffering in silence, unable to discuss it and establish if their periods were 'normal’. A stakeholder analysis identified key opinion leaders who were briefed in advance of the consumer launch, it was important to reassure clinicians, gynaecologists and female health experts that women self treating with pharmacy support were being handled well - POM to P launches had faced criticism in the past.

However, the "killer idea” from Gravitas was to create a new online heavy menstrual bleeding symptom checker which would help women establish if they did have a real problem, consider taking action and get control back over their lives. It was nominated as 'website of the day’ in the Daily Mirror by Dr Miriam. Blanket media coverage in trade and consumer press followed including Good Housekeeping, Woman and the leading www.femalefirst.co.uk website which created record website hits.