United Therapeutics called on us to perform some emergency cosmetic surgery for their flagship pharmaceutical product (even websites need a facelift).
In late 2007, we were approached by Chris Johnson, product manager for Remodulin, a pharmaceutical product for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension. For those of you that didn’t go to medical school, that’s high blood pressure in the lungs, apparently a not-so-pleasant medical condition. Their website was suffering from old age and needed to be revamped — stat. We were more than happy to put on our scrubs and perform a little cosmetic surgery.
Note: We’re not doctors, but we play them on TV. You may have seen us on NBC’s Extreme Corporate Makeover: Homepage Edition, yet another lame reality show inflicted upon America by the writer’s strike.
Once we made the initial incision, we discovered a new and exciting world of regulations and limitations regarding the marketing of pharmaceutical products. We wanted to give Remodulin’s site a facelift, a tummy tuck, and some porcelain veneers, but we were thwarted at every turn!
For the facelift, we decided to include photos on the site of active people enjoying life, but that was much more challenging than it sounded. People at the beach? Can’t be near the water because it presents risk of infection. People skiing or snowboarding? High altitudes are out. Someone on a bicycle? Overexertion is bad. Happy family? Can’t include children. After a few hundred options, we finally settled on some photos to use.
Then came the tummy tuck. Instead of an old-school static website, we set up ExpressionEngine, our CMS of choice. A company that specializes in marketing for pharmaceutical companies provided the initial copy for the site, which we quickly loaded into the templates.
We thought we were done and we could send the site to the recovery room, but then the text revisions started rolling in. We truly had no idea how intense the review process for a pharmaceutical site was. Let’s just say that we had to pull out the crash cart, charge the paddles to 300, give the site a zap, and then get it stabilized in the ICU.
Thanks to Dr. Chester and his surgical team, Remodulin.com made a full recovery, went home, and had its new look revealed to the world on live national television. Chris was overjoyed with the finished product:
Special thanks to the crew that designed our website, Onwired. You have done and will continue to do a great job.
Our work was so well received that we’re already in talks with United Therapeutics, Remodulin’s parent company, to work medical miracles on another site.