For many pharmaceutical companies, disease awareness campaigns often take the form of TV advertisements and related hashtags for social media. For Bayer, colorectal cancer awareness means bringing a huge inflatable model of the colon to events across the US.
In partnership with Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Fight Colorectal Cancer, two patient advocacy organizations, Bayer will be bringing their giant colon – which people can walk through – to 50 events as part of their Big Colon Tour 2018.
“It’s critical to raise awareness of risk factors of colorectal cancer as well as signs of disease progression. We’re proud to support the efforts of Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Fight Colorectal Cancer on behalf of cancer survivors and their caregivers,” said Dr. Joseph Germino, Bayer’s vice president of Medical Affairs, Oncology.
It’s estimated that over 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. Currently, colorectal cancer holds the number three spot for both the most new cases as well as a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US.
“The Big Colon Tour was launched to take the focus off the discomfort many feel when talking to their doctors about their diagnosis,” said Michael Sapienza, president of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “The public’s reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re happy we could change the tone of an important conversation. With Bayer as a sponsor, we’re excited to bring the colon to more 5K races, community fairs and medical centers to continue spreading awareness among local communities across the country.”
The big inflatable colon is certainly eye-catching but Bayer hopes it will be educational too. Along with showing the different stages of colorectal cancer in an interactive way, the goal of the Big Colon Tour is to inform individuals about screening options along with preventive measures they can take to lower their risk of the disease.
The tour could also help improve awareness of Stivarga (regorafenib), Bayer’s FDA-approve anticancer drug for patients who have already been treated with other chemotherapy medicines for their colorectal cancer and have experienced metastasis of the disease. According to Bayer’s 2018 Q1 earnings, the drug’s US sales dropped 12 percent from last year, likely due in part to increased competition from Otsuka’s colorectal cancer drug Lonsurf.
In March, Bayer donated $25,000 to Fight Colorectal Cancer as part of their #StrongArmSelfie social media campaign. This is the fourth year the drugmaker participated in the fundraising which aims to support colorectal cancer research and advocacy.
Individuals can visit the 2018 Big Colon Tour website to learn when the disease awareness campaign will be at an event near them.