The site includes testimonials from athletes and celebrities regarding their personal experiences with serious health issues and chronic diseases, and invites anyone interested to post their own stories. So many of these stories are quite compelling, and remind us how frightening and painful it can be to cope with a deadly or debilitating disease. For those of us in the pharmaceutical industry, it also helps us reflect on our special mission and get re-energized to serve these patients every day.
Pharma companies have gotten some heat in recent years for working with celebrities to promote specific products or diseases they treat. GSK has joined with several notable personalities from entertainment and sports including a few who appear on the Sharing Miracles site. We've chosen to work with prominent figures in certain circumstances when their involvement can help reach audiences that might otherwise not be aware of a serious health condition or treatment option. But these campaigns have to be handled appropriately--with full disclosure and transparency about our involvement and in a way that adequately addresses the risks and benefits of medicines--or we risk losing the trust of the very people we're trying to reach.
When conducted the right way, these campaigns--and the celebrity's notoriety and credibility--can be extremely valuable in encouraging a dialogue around important health topics and driving people to consult with their doctor about diagnosis and treatment. That's not to say that celebrities are healthcare experts, but it's important to look at the experiences of patients--including these celebrities--to help inform others about prevention and treatment of these conditions.
Check out the site and see for yourself.