Since the approval of Linzess in 2012, Ironwood and Allergan have been changing the way patients talk about uncomfortable topics like constipation.
While the companies' original direct-to-consumer (DTC) campaign for the drug would be considered a success by virtually any measure, Ironwood and Allergan have not rested on their laurels. The marketing duo - which originally started out as Ironwood and Forest Laboratories before it was acquired by the company that is now Allergan - have now gone through three iterations of marketing campaigns for the irritable bowel syndrome with constipation drug, each more successful than its predecessor.
The original ad launched in 2014 and tested significantly higher in market research than the industry benchmark on motivation scores among IBS-C and CIC patients, according to the company. The campaign drove total prescriptions (TRx) up 21% compared with the pre-DTC-launch trend established in the 12 months leading up to the launch of the drug.
The next two campaigns, which ran in 2015 and 2016, respectively, received higher motivation test scores than the launch ad and increased total prescriptions by 27% and 30%, respectively.
The ad described the pain as a knot or bricks piling up in your stomach and used a blue string to depict the problem.
"As a marketer it makes my job a little easier in that I don't have to name all the things I'm trying to fix. I simply have to say what products that may not be working for you and that it could be solved with our product," said Mark Rossetti, a senior director at Ironwood and the U.S. brand lead on Linzess.