Supplier News Breaks Archives
Boehringer-Ingelheim helps raise colon cancer awareness
March 21st, 2011
RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – The fact that colon cancer is preventable but still kills 50,000 people every year has led Boehringer-Ingelheim Consumer Health Care to team up with the Colon Cancer Alliance on a yearlong project to raise awareness and help more people get screened for the disease.
“Our goal is to increase awareness and equity of the Dulcolax brand via retailer-supported integrated programming,” director of trade marketing Catherine Vieira says about the effort that began this month in conjunction with National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
“This disease needs awareness so it is better known,” she stresses. “Consumers are much more familiar with lung, breast and prostate cancer than they are with colon cancer.”
As part of the effort between Boehringer-Ingelheim and the Colon Cancer Alliance, packages of Dulcolax laxative are carrying the alliance’s blue star logo.
Colon Cancer Alliance executives say that being linked to such a high-profile brand should go a long way to getting its message across.
“This is a big thing for us,” says Andrea Clay, national fund-raising director for the alliance. “Colon cancer is the sort of unsexy cancer; we don’t want to talk about it.
“We need to bring it out of the shadows, and we need people to talk about it,” she says. “Anything we can do to start the conversation is a good thing.”
A big part of that conversations, she says, is helping people overcome their fear of having a colonoscopy.
In an effort to ease those fears, Boehringer-Ingelheim and the Colon Cancer Alliance have gotten fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo, who was diagnosed with colon cancer after getting a screening eight years ago, to serve as a spokesman for their effort to get more people tested.
“My triumph over the disease has empowered me to make sure people are aware of what they can do to prevent and fight it,” Valvo comments. “When it comes to combating this disease, early detection and treatment are the keys.”
To draw attention to the Dulcolax products and the colon cancer awareness message, retailers have agreed to give the products special placement during Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Walmart, for instance, is devoting end-caps to the product, while such retailers as CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid Corp. and Walgreen Co. have also agreed to be part of the program.
Boehringer-Ingelheim has agreed to donate a portion of Dulcolax sales to help fund screenings for people who would not be able to afford the test otherwise.
Clay says the partnership with Boehringer-Ingelheim is the culmination of an intensive search for the right supplier to team up with. The joint effort could last as long as three years, she says.
“We approached many companies about a partnership,” Clay says. “No one brought as much to the table as Boehringer-Ingelheim and Dulcolax.”
Besides its in-store message that the best way to prevent colorectal cancer is by getting a colonoscopy, Boehringer-Ingelheim is sponsoring the alliance’s Undy 5,000 events around the country this year.
The events are a series of 13 five-kilometer run/walks, in which participants are encouraged to wear boxer shorts to draw attention to the area of the body that is affected by colon cancer.