If you had primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), you were most likely a woman over 40 dealing with severe itching and fatigue who may have been accused by your physician of being a “complainer”—or even an alcoholic. For its first-in-class launch of OCALIVA® (obeticholic acid), Intercept Pharmaceuticals helped this disempowered patient population become proactive, inspired advocates for their own health with a revolutionary health app called Living with PBC™.
For patients facing the challenges of PBC, communicating with physicians had been an ongoing challenge. Their symptoms weren’t just ignored, but were frequently discounted as simple “fatigue” or “getting older.” Busy physicians missed the large-scale quality-of-life limitations associated with the disease.
Designed as a symptom tracker, this native app allowed patients to quickly record their daily symptoms, including fatigue, energy levels, itchiness, sleep, and other PBC symptoms, using easily navigable symbols and efficient, second-nature usability. But the app was more than that. It converted patient-recorded data into daily, weekly, and monthly charts and graphs that could be used to illustrate symptom severity in discussions with physicians.
In this way, PBC Living became more than a simple tracker—it became a translation device, allowing patients to effectively communicate their experience with PBC through data points that spoke to the analytical, data-centric minds of their physicians.
With this powerful tool, the patient and physician relationship was elevated—along with effective, long-term PBC care as well.
OCALIVA represented Intercept’s first commercial launch—and was a resounding success. PBC Living played an outsized role in the community engagement that drove remarkable product uptake. With hundreds of patients and families downloading the app at launch, it created the perfect platform for active engagement and ongoing dialogue.
At CB, we believe people dictate the technologies they need to improve their lives, and not the other way around. PBC Living is a perfect example of this: innovation that serves a need and helps emphasize our shared human experience, solving a unique communications challenge elegantly, empathetically, and beautifully.
“By working closely with the PBC patient community and advocates, Team OCALIVA created a unique platform that improved lives and health outcomes. We couldn’t be prouder of what we accomplished together.”
--Christina Boni, CB account supervisor