RIDGEFIELD, Conn., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DRIVE4COPD, the nation's single largest awareness campaign for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was named PRWeek's Healthcare Campaign of the Year 2011. The PRWeek Awards are described as the most prestigious honors in the public relations industry, given each year to the best corporate, non-profit, agency, and education teams. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is the founding sponsor of DRIVE4COPD, which is also supported by leading partner organizations including the American Association for Respiratory Care, Country Music Association, COPD Alliance, COPD Foundation, U.S. COPD Coalition and is the official health initiative of NASCAR.
DRIVE4COPD launched in February 2010 and was conceived and implemented by public relations agency partner Biosector 2, a Chandler Chicco Company part of inVentiv Health. The campaign was propelled by a multi-faceted program that included extensive media coverage, public service announcements, local events and social media activities that motivated millions of Americans to take action. All DRIVE4COPD communications highlighted the 5-question COPD Population Screener™. In the program's first year, DRIVE4COPD screened more than one million Americans for COPD risk.
"It's a rare opportunity to touch so many lives, and Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to have started a movement to drive fundamental change in COPD awareness," said Kate O'Connor, executive director, Public Relations of Boehringer Ingelheim. "It's an honor to be recognized by PRWeek and we are thankful to all our partners who will help keep the momentum in 2011 and beyond."
The judging panel consisted of more than 70 of the nation's most respected practitioners from across the PR industry, who collectively selected DRIVE4COPD as the Healthcare Campaign of the Year. From industry firsts with social media, to seamless execution of multi-market events, the campaign continues to drive change in COPD and in expectations for healthcare communications.
"A very well-integrated effort," said one judge, with another noting the initiative's breadth and success in integrating traditional and digital communications. Another judge said it was "an impressive campaign that brought all the components together in a seamless way," noting that it "drove great results."
Launched in February 2010, DRIVE4COPD is a landmark public health movement embraced by leading health, business, entertainment and sports organizations that are aimed at driving fundamental change in COPD awareness in this country. This initiative aims to help millions of people affected by COPD by focusing national attention on this common and debilitating disease.
The unified efforts of the DRIVE4COPD network of organizations help people identify symptoms of COPD, take action to see if they may be at risk for the disease, and encourage them to talk to their healthcare provider. The campaign is driven by a powerful coalition of organizations including the American Association for Respiratory Care, Country Music Association, COPD Alliance, COPD Foundation, NASCAR®, U.S. COPD Coalition, and founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Joining this movement are DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors including Emmy-nominated actor Jim Belushi, multi-platinum recording artist and television star Billy Ray Cyrus, Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, Grammy Award-winning country music star Patty Loveless, Go Daddy and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ Driver Danica Patrick, and Pro Football great Michael Strahan. Each has lost a loved one to COPD and has seen first-hand the impact of the disease. The Celebrity Ambassadors are paid spokespeople of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also known as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This disease makes it harder to breathe because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs. As many as 24 million Americans may have COPD – even those who haven't smoked in years – and half of them remain undiagnosed. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It kills one person every four minutes and more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined.
Common symptoms of COPD include coughing, with or without mucus, or shortness of breath. These symptoms are often confused with normal signs of aging. As COPD progresses, symptoms tend to get worse and more damage occurs in the lungs. Breathing gradually becomes more difficult until people with COPD feel like they are inhaling and exhaling through a small straw.
About Biosector 2
Biosector 2 (B2) is a global healthcare public relations agency that partners with visionary clients to deliver groundbreaking programs and improve people's lives. Our dynamic and collaborative team is as much on the cutting edge of communications as our clients are on the cutting edge of science. Given our biotech roots, B2 is adept at translating complex science to drive understanding of the promise of novel medicines. This expertise is now being tapped by big pharma, biopharm, diagnostics and device companies who are looking for a fresh approach and fully integrated capabilities to meet every challenge.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17.7 billion (12.7 billion euro) while spending 21% of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.
COPD Screener is a trademark of QualityMetric Incorporated.
NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. The NASCAR Nationwide Series™ word mark is used under license from NASCAR, Inc., and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
©2011 Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved.
DRIVE4COPD is a trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim