Today marks a turning point in the fight to eradicate colorectal cancer. Pfizer and Exact Sciences launched a partnership to get more people screened for this preventable disease by expanding the Cologuard sales force to educate health care providers, increase our health system integration and efficiently grow our Cologuard marketing campaigns.
This partnership can make an extraordinary impact on more people like Sue Pickering. At age 62, Sue had never been screened for colorectal cancer but completed a Cologuard test at the encouragement of her friend and physician. Sue’s results came back positive and after a colonoscopy, she was diagnosed with Stage II colorectal cancer. After surgery and a few rounds of preventive chemotherapy, Sue has no evidence of disease.
Sue’s Cologuard result didn’t just impact her. She is the fulltime caregiver for her adult daughter, who has a disability. When we recently asked about her Cologuard result, Sue pointed out, “My first thought was not about me, but what would happen to my daughter. If this hadn’t been caught early, I don’t know what would have happened to her.”
Getting more patients screened so their colorectal cancer can be detected early will be critical to achieving the Exact Sciences mission of eradicating this disease. Colorectal cancer is recognized as the most preventable yet least prevented form of cancer and remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with more than 50,000 deaths each year. Nine out of 10 people survive more than five years when colorectal cancer is diagnosed in Stage I or II, but only one out of 10 people survive more than five years when the disease is diagnosed in Stage IV. While patient outcomes can be improved through early detection, fewer than two-thirds of people are up-to-date with recommended colorectal cancer screening guidelines.
Through this partnership, Exact Sciences can impact the lives of more people like Sue by combining the power of Cologuard and our talented team, with Pfizer’s experience, relationships and resources. The agreement, which continues through 2021, is built around three areas:
- SALES: Accelerate Cologuard adoption by combining the Exact Sciences team’s knowledge of colorectal cancer and Cologuard with Pfizer’s range of contacts and depth of health care relationships.
- HEALTH SYSTEMS: Expand access to Cologuard among large health systems. Half of the nation’s primary care providers are employed or affiliated with a health system. Pfizer’s large, experienced team will help integrate Cologuard into these organizations, educate them on how to promote Cologuard and facilitate prescribing access through electronic ordering platforms.
- MARKETING: Increase Cologuard awareness by efficiently expanding advertising and marketing. Combined, Exact Sciences and Pfizer will increase our investment in Cologuard advertising by more than $40 million per year – which will substantially expand awareness of Cologuard. Because Pfizer is one of the largest advertisers in America, we can also purchase ads at a significantly more efficient rate.
Exact Sciences is committed to combining our strong team with some of the industry’s best patient advocates. This began nine years ago when we partnered with Mayo Clinic to develop Cologuard and continues today through our partnership with Pfizer. Together, we are poised to change the lives of so many more people.