Sanofi backs mobile service for cancer patients on chemo

Cancer patients might fail to follow their doctor's orders often. But how often do they forget their mobile phones? The drug giant Sanofi ($SNY) and partners have rolled out a texting service for prostate cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, providing them with timely messages on their mobile phones to keep them on track with their treatments.

And understand, prostate cancer is big business for drugmakers like Sanofi.

The U.S. unit of the pharma heavyweight teamed up with the mobile tech outfit Mobile Commons and the Prostate Cancer Foundation to deliver "Prost8care," which will be promoted to patients and their healthcare providers. The service texts enrolled patients with regular updates about their care, including how to handle side effects and tips on diet and other things that their healthcare providers would likely tell them. As the texting backers say, their service aims only to reinforce what doctors have told patients. Have a question? Ask the doctor.

The texting service follows a series of digital efforts from Paris-based Sanofi, including its support of initiatives to engage diabetes patients via social media. Like those programs, Prost8care caters to patients and doctors of high interest to the drugmaker. Sanofi markets chemotherapies such as Taxotere and Jevtana, both of which are used to combat prostate cancer. As Sanofi overcomes a patent cliff, the company has pushed for growth in areas such as diabetes and innovative meds for cancer and other diseases.

Prostate cancer has attracted interest from a bevy of drugmakers and developers. It's the most common cancer in male Americans, with 241,740 new cases reported in 2012, Howard Soule, the chief scientist of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, said in a statement. It's safe to say that many, if not most, of these patients tote mobile phones. About 85% of American adults own one, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

"Through Prost8care, we are helping those coping with advanced stages of the disease through text messages timed to coincide with their chemotherapy treatment cycles," Soule added.

- here's the release
- check out PMLive's article