How UCB built engagement on Facebook

Stephen Whiteside

People with epilepsy often welcome the support of their fellow sufferers and actively embrace the chance to learn about their condition. The challenge for UCB – the maker of Vimpat and Keppra XR, two drugs assisting in the treatment of partial-onset seizures – was finding a way to help them do so while staying inside the pharma sector's strict regulations.

An online listening exercise conducted by UCB just over 18 months ago, when Trish Nettleship joined as its director/social media and influence, emphasised just how crucial it was to meet these needs. "We realised, within the epilepsy space, there's this significant feeling of isolation. And there's still quite a bit of stigma for epilepsy patients," she said at the ePharma Summit, a conference organised by the Institute for International Research, and held in February 2014. "There was this overwhelming sense of isolation; lack of information; these feelings of, 'I'm alone.'"