How do you encourage more balanced media coverage when orphan-drug prices are drawing criticism and generating negative headlines? By connecting an influential reporter with physicians, patients and company executives, SmithSolve shifted his focus from the “World’s Most Expensive Medicine” to the “World’s Most Innovative Company.” The resulting in-depth company profile opened minds to the severity of rare diseases, the economics of developing medical breakthroughs and the value of innovative companies.


An influential business reporter had been a persistent critic of orphan-drug pricing, frequently referring to Alexion’s lead product as the world’s most expensive drug. This focus on price had the potential to overshadow the life-transforming benefits of the product as the company prepared to enter new markets.

  • Shift the focus of the conversation from price to patients
  • Highlight the company’s innovation, commitment to patients and investment in research



By providing additional with information, insight and interviews, SmithSolve worked with the reporter to produce a more positive, comprehensive and personal view of the company, its product and orphan-drug development.

Our work included:

  • Shared physician and patient stories on the devastating impact of disease and the dramatic benefits of treatment
  • Prepared company founders to describe the 20-year odyssey to bring innovative therapies to patients
  • Demonstrated the company’s commitment to ensuring access to therapy
  • Explained the economics of developing breakthrough advances for extremely rare diseases


The Alexion profile in Forbes influenced the way people look at orphan drugs and the companies that develop them. The article also helped Alexion recruit talent as it expanded to serve more patients worldwide.

  • Alexion earned the #2 spot in Forbes’ annual rankings of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2012 and 2013. They were #5 in the 2016 rankings.
  • In addition to a circulation of one million, more than 59,000 people viewed the profile online
  • The ad equivalency of the seven page article was estimated at $1.2 million

What has it been like working with SmithSolve?