Opioid-Induced Constipation

Project Brief

Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) was a large and relatively untapped market, drawing attention from several pharmaceutical companies. A major pharmaceutical company needed to enroll three clinical studies on time, or earlier, to maintain its competitive advantage over contending investigational compounds. Successful study enrollment was critical – not only as a much-needed treatment option for patients suffering with OIC, but as an important building block for the company’s future by becoming their first marketed compound.

The Solution

The campaign's primary objective was two-fold: raise awareness for constipation care to an audience whose primary concern was pain management, while eliminating barriers that typically inhibit an open conversation about constipation. Success also hinged on transforming the mindset of physicians who were often likely to defer patients to over-the-counter laxatives such as Dulcolax® and MiraLAX® to consider clinical research as a worthy option. Anticipating a high level of interest in these studies, the program was designed to balance consistent delivery of qualified referrals to sites while managing high volume, allowing site staff to effectively and efficiently follow up with patients in a timely manner.

To succeed, it was critical for the marketing campaign to:

  • motivate an audience dealing with chronic, non-cancer pain management to address a secondary concern – constipation resulting from their opioid medication
  • shift the mindset of physicians to consider introducing a clinical research study as an option
  • differentiate COMPOSE from competing studies and approved medications
  • motivate patients to consider study participation as a potential approach to finding the relief they needed

Last, but not least, BBK's seamless collaboration with the Sponsor and CRO would play an instrumental role in the program’s success, working together throughout the enrollment period to achieve our common goal.

The Result

BBK’s multi-channel marketing campaign generated 7,107 highly qualified referrals from over 20 countries around the world. As predicted, patient response to outreach was robust – helping the program to achieve full enrollment ahead of schedule by a cumulative 208 days and at a $129 cost-per-referral (CPR), an overall cost savings of nearly 60 percent compared to a previous campaign targeting a similar demographic. This successful recruitment program represented a huge accomplishment for the Sponsor, ensuring the drug would remain competitive in the race to achieve timely approval.

Opioid-Induced Constipation Study

Campaign Results


Referrals Generated


Countries Supported


Days Saved




More than helping us meet our recruitment goals, which was no small feat on its own; the BBK team was a true strategic partner. An extension of our team, BBK was as committed as we were in finding the best patients for this study – with the patients' needs at the center of everything we did.