Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Bad “Buzz” Beats Super Bowl EyeBalls When It Comes to Drug Ads

Bad “Buzz” Beats Super Bowl EyeBalls When It Comes to Drug Ads | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Drug ads often seem ubiquitous during regular TV programming. However, one time they definitely are not is during the advertising event of the year: the Super Bowl.

 

This year's Super Bowl advertiser roster is a familiar lineup, packed with the usual snack, beer, car, and technology brands, and an occasional public service announcement. Brands in those categories have far fewer regulatory guidelines for ads and more freedom to produce silly, moving, or eye-catching spots, whereas pharma brands are usually much more cautious.

 

"I don't think it's a lack of people or agencies presenting ideas of how to get into the Super Bowl [resulting in a lack of drug ads]," says Kevin McHale, MD and executive creative director at FCB Health's Neon. "There are a lot of clever pharmaceutical advertisements that have great consumer appeal in recent years in the U.S., so we're seeing a great evolution of healthcare advertising."

 

While big pharma does spend an astounding amount on advertising each year, with one media tracking firm estimating it exceeded $6 billion collectively in 2016, many marketers don't see a Super Bowl ad as the best use of their money.

 

While a surprise appearance is a possibility, no healthcare companies have bought spots, according to lists of Super Bowl XLII ads from Advertising Age, AdWeek, and iSpot.tv. However, pharma companies have tried their luck during the big game. Jublia, a prescription toenail fungus drug, bought a spot in two recent Super Bowls, using NFL legends and animated football imagery to tie its brand to the game.

 

AstraZeneca's 2015 opioid-induced constipation disease awareness ad tried to bring out the clever side of a health issue, but promoted backlash for making light of a serious problem.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

Most Super Bowl ads get extra benefit from all the “positive” buzz in the press before and afterward. In the case of drug Super Bowl ads, that buzz was decidedly “negative” last year. I guess in advertising, unlike publicity, there is such a thing as bad.

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How DTC Made Restasis a Blockbuster in the U.S. Even Though Its Efficacy Is Unproven In The Rest of the World

How DTC Made Restasis a Blockbuster in the U.S. Even Though Its Efficacy Is Unproven In The Rest of the World | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Rich Meyer of DTC Marketing Blog Meyer says: "I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone with a conscience could work for a company like Allergan. Transferring patents, rights to a native American tribe (Allergan’s Tribal Warfare to Save Multi-Billion $ Blockbuster Restasis from Death by Generics) to try and circumvent the law and using DTC to market a drug that did nothing, according to JAMA but increase health care costs."

 

According to the JAMA article:

 

Restasis is not approved in the European Union, Australia, or New Zealand, where in 2001 registration applications were “withdrawn prior to approval due to insufficient evidence of efficacy. But Americans pay for Restasis—a lot: $8.8 billion in US sales between 2009 and 2015, including over $2.9 billion in public monies through Medicare Part D.

 

An important reason may be the extensive marketing campaign to sell a disease—chronic dry eyes—and its treatment. From 2007 to 2016, Allergan spent $645 million on television, magazine, and electronic ads including its mydryeyes.com website.

 

The website recasts ordinary unpleasant life experiences as disease: “those who experience stinging, burning, and watering eyes might attribute these symptoms to the weather, allergies, contacts or even their eye makeup, when in fact they may be suffering from Chronic Dry Eye (CDE) disease.” Mydryeyes.com invites people to take a quiz. The results come with a warning: “Don’t wait; over time, CDE disease may get worse and may have potential health consequences for your eyes, including damage to the front surface of the eye, an increased risk of eye infection, and effects on your vision.”

 

Based on the evidence, why should consumers, private insurers, and the federal government spend billions of dollars on a marginally effective drug for a condition that many would not consider to be a disease? Restasis might never have reached blockbuster status if payers, clinicians, and consumers had easy access to independent drug information.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

An Allergan spokesperson told PMLIVE that "the success of the [Restasis DTC] campaign can primarily be attributed to the fact that the team took a deeper dive into the patient's journey and experience, bringing to life the moment when a patient realises she doesn't just have dry eyes, she has a disease called chronic dry eye." All this hubbub about "a deeper dive into the patient's journey and experience" is secondary to the age-old advertising formula of "reach and frequency." $645 million buys a LOT of TV and magazine ads!

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We Are Buried in Silly DTC Ads Like Allergan's and Ironwood’s New Linzess Campaign

We Are Buried in Silly DTC Ads Like Allergan's and Ironwood’s New Linzess Campaign | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Allergan and Ironwood have introduced a new campaign for Linzess that points out the difficulty of managing too many OTC constipation treatments such as laxatives, fiber and probiotics. Computer-generated images of bottles and boxes of OTC treatments literally pile on top of people in the TV ads.

The new work switches out the well-received Linzess “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” work, which featured visually engaging, stop-motion TV commercials. It was the only DTC pharma advertising to win an Effie Award this year and ranked in the Sweet 16 of FiercePharma’s DTC March Madness contest.

The new “Wearing on You” campaign acknowledges the many OTC treatments, diet changes and other remedies people try when fighting stomach pain and constipation. If those aren’t working, the ads suggest, the condition may be chronic and require a prescription treatment.

Pharma Guy's insight:

How silly can pharma marketers get? Is there no limit? Is it all for the judges at award ceremonies?

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Insights Into Which TV Shows Attract Pharma Ads & Why

Insights Into Which TV Shows Attract Pharma Ads & Why | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

If you feel inundated with pharma ads, it might have something to do with your taste in TV shows.

 

Depending on which show you’re watching, prescription drug makers are responsible for as many as 38 percent of ads during commercial breaks — or as few as virtually none at all. That’s according to data from the media research firm iSpot.tv covering the valuable 8-10 p.m. primetime slot over the 12 months that concluded at the end of July.

 

Drug advertisers usually don’t target down to the level of specific TV shows when they’re buying ad spots… Typically, though, drug advertisers target demographic groups, such as women aged 65 and older, and buy spots during shows or times of day when those viewers are most likely to be watching.

 

Across well over 5,000 TV shows captured in iSpot’s data, a median of 5 percent of all ad spots came from pharma. That counts traditional spots promoting a prescription drug as well as corporate ads from pharma companies, such as a much-aired spot from Pfizer (PFE) celebrating its scientists.

 

Here’s a breakdown of pharma advertisers’ favorite — and least favorite — TV shows:

 

Among the 100 most-watched shows on TV, the whodunnit true-crime show “48 Hours” had the largest share of drug advertising; 19 percent of its ads came from pharma. It was closely followed by police procedurals like “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Blue Bloods,” a “Criminal Minds” spinoff, and “Hawaii Five-O,” all of which had pharma to thank for about 14 percent of their ads.

 

Why are these shows getting blanketed with pharma ads? One key reason: crime dramas like NCIS are wildly popular with the aging viewers drug companies are trying to reach, points out John Mack, who publishes the digital newsletter Pharma Marketing News.

 

More insights here.

Pharma Guy's insight:

There are also lots of pharma ads on political talk shows. Probably ads for drugs for anxiety, migraine, and depression are dominant here!

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Big Media Companies Launch Health Mags to Capture #Pharma Ad Biz While WebMD et al Struggle

Big Media Companies Launch Health Mags to Capture #Pharma Ad Biz While WebMD et al Struggle | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Condé Nast, Time Inc., and Vice Media have all recently launched health content businesses, in a bid to meet the growing demands of health-conscious consumers and also take a slice of the roughly $6 billion pharma advertising pie.

 

“It doesn't surprise me that media companies are getting into pharma advertising, given the total value at stake in pharma sales,” said Brian Fox, senior partner at McKinsey.

 

What exactly is at stake? Well, pharma spending on digital ads was flat, at $515 million in 2016, according to data compiled by Kantar Media. But total pharma spending on advertising in the U.S. market rose 4.6% in 2016, to $5.8 billion, driven by a 6.4% jump in spending on magazines, to $1.7 billion, and a 4% increase in TV spending, to roughly $4 billion.

 

This may be one reason Time Inc. in July launched a point-of-care magazine as part of the February kickoff of Time Health, a brand focused on video and digital editorial content, among other offerings.

 

These further investments by traditional media publishers into the healthcare and pharmaceutical space may mean several things. Publishers in general are facing a broad advertising slowdown and looking for new revenue options, while consumers are demanding more health news and content. And the move away from banner ads and toward data-driven strategies has created opportunities for highly trafficked consumer sites to market their reach.

 

Publicis Health worked with Condé Nast on a print media program for Xiidra, Shire's new treatment for dry-eye disease. The campaign was unique for Shire for several reasons: It featured one of the drugmaker's few consumer-facing products and actor Jennifer Aniston served as a spokesperson, a rare pharma appearance by an A-list celebrity. Unbranded and branded ads were featured in titles like Bon Appetit, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vogue.

 

Condé Nast's new health marketing division, which launched in April, is multifaceted. The group gives its advertisers with access to its predictive data optimization platform and also develops branded and sponsored content. In addition, Condé Nast has promised to increase its editorial coverage of health and wellness —- primarily through the now online-only Self magazine, which published its last print issue in February. On June 29, Self launched a section that aggregates stories about 30 different conditions and diseases affecting women.

 

Tonic, Vice's new editorial health site, takes a slightly different approach. The site, which bills itself as “real wellness advice for imperfect humans,” recently featured editorial news stories about counterfeit skin-whitening creams and virtual STD testing.

 

While the privately held Vice works directly with healthcare brands to create branded and sponsored content, it does so with the understanding that the Vice voice — described as “engaging and human” by John Duncan, Tonic's associate publisher — is present. Vice's perspective is that much online health content is presented or written in a way that is disconnected from the consumer. By contrast, Tonic features “trustworthy information that you can access, and it cuts through the industry-specific language,” Duncan said.

 

During the 10 months during which all three media properties launched, companies like WebMD and Everyday Health — traditional sources of online pharma advertising — have struggled.

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Boston Scientific Ad for Watchman Medical Device Takes Shot at Blood Thinners!

Boston Scientific Ad for Watchman Medical Device Takes Shot at Blood Thinners! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

This spring, viewers in four U.S. metro areas — Tampa, Detroit, San Diego, and Phoenix — saw the first television commercial aired by Boston Scientific, a 38-year-old maker of medical devices.

 

The ad, aimed at families of the millions of older Americans with irregular heartbeats, portrays a distraught adult daughter driving her father to the hospital. A doctor tells them about one of the Marlborough, Mass., company’s newest products: an implantable device called Watchman that seals a pocket in a patient’s heart chamber to prevent blood clots that can trigger strokes.

 

Such televised pitches are rare for medical device companies, which, unlike prescription drug makers, traditionally have steered clear of consumer marketing. But they are part of a strategy by Boston Scientific to promote a new generation of products designed to propel it into a top position in the markets for cardiac, endoscopic, urological, and other devices.

 

Boston Scientific’s chief medical officer, Ian Meredith — an interventional cardiologist and researcher recently recruited from Australia — conceded there was “a lot of hand-wringing” over whether to launch the television commercial. Ultimately, the company decided it was important to educate patients with atrial fibrillation, who bruise and bleed from the anticoagulant blood thinners typically prescribed to dissolve clots. Executives are gauging the ad’s effectiveness before determining whether to air it in additional markets, such as Boston.

 

“This is a very socially impactful ad,” Meredith said. “It’s really identifying that there’s an alternative for people who can’t take anticoagulation or who are struggling with anticoagulation [medicines]. And a lot of primary care doctors don’t realize this option’s available.”

 

Further Reading:

  • “Ad: 7th Annual Digital Marketing for Medical Devices - Save 15% use code PMN15”; http://sco.lt/8myK2L
  • “Medical Device DTC Ads: Spooky, Outrageous Claims & Unregulated!”; http://sco.lt/9EHXg9
  • "Device DTC: Imagine How Far It Will Go!"; http://bit.ly/deviceDTC
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Despite Being "Horrific," Sage's Postpartum Depression Disease Awareness Campaign is a Success!

Despite Being "Horrific," Sage's Postpartum Depression Disease Awareness Campaign is a Success! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

It’s an arresting advertising image: a close-up photo of a woman with a baby pacifier in her mouth and a tear rolling down her cheek. The disease awareness campaign from Sage Therapeutics is tagged, “When it comes to postpartum depression, silence sucks.”

 

The response, on the other hand, has been anything but silent. But engaged responses and online discussions are just what Sage says it intended.

 

“The intent of the campaign was to bring awareness and education and provoke a productive discussion around a condition that has been largely stigmatized and ignored,” Ryan Arnold, D.O., Sage's VP of medical affairs, said in an interview about the campaign, media coverage and pushback. The outdoor work in Boston, where Sage is based, was a one-city, one-month pilot project, he said.

 

In mid-June a story in Stat noted how the campaign's imagery had “hit a nerve” (read “Sage's Postpartum Depression Awareness Campaign ‘Infantilizes’ Women Say Critics”; http://sco.lt/50tyML).

 

The outcry on Instagram ranged from “so offensive on so many levels” to “which genius marketer came up with ‘let’s shove a pacifier into a crying woman’s mouth to peddle PPD drugs?’ This is horrific.” Sage responded to the commenters with detailed explanations about its intent and beliefs, although the women were generally not having it.

 

Web traffic to the site is up, with average views topping more than 1,000 per day, Arnold said. While that could be attributed to people investigating just what the ad campaign is about, he added that Sage has also seen an increase in people clicking through on its advocacy group links and advice on talking to a doctor, with more than 2,500 through last week. Its advocacy group partners confirmed correlating upticks, he said.

 

When asked whether Sage will continue to use the woman-and-pacifier imagery, he deferred on specifics and simply said the company is evaluating feedback and discussing how to evolve the campaign.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Just like slowing down to watch an accident on the highway! It's so educational and so sad.

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New Opdivo DTC Ad Asks: “Who Wouldn’t Want [a 50-50 Chance] to Live Longer [2.8 Months on Average]?”

New Opdivo DTC Ad Asks: “Who Wouldn’t Want [a 50-50 Chance] to Live Longer [2.8 Months on Average]?” | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

“We updated the commercial to highlight potential life events that may be possible for some patients who receive treatment with Opdivo, and include new information about the number of patients that have been prescribed Opdivo, which patients find meaningful,” a Bristol-Myers Squibb spokeswoman said in an email.

 

The ad does note that Opdivo has demonstrated longer life versus chemotherapy and adds that 40,000 patients have been prescribed Opdivo. The new Opdivo ad has only spent a little over $1 million on national TV media since it began airing in the last week of May, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv. Similar creative will also run in print and digital ads, the spokeswoman said.

 

This is the third national TV ad for Opdivo, which began its mainstream bid on the airwaves in the fall of 2015. The ad campaign has attracted some criticism, however, most notably last summer after a New York Times op-ed, and then two oncologists writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, disputed the value of the DTC cancer advertising (read “Cancer Experts Say Majority of New Cancer Drugs are Ineffective & May Cause More Harm Than Good”).

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

Read the fine print!

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Boehringer Defends Pradaxa Ad as Example of "Highlighting" More Women in Ads, But Only as Caregivers, Not Patients

Boehringer Defends Pradaxa Ad as Example of "Highlighting" More Women in Ads, But Only as Caregivers, Not Patients | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Now a year into the "Red Fish" campaign, Boehringer was pleased with the feedback and effectiveness of the fish-as-blood-clot imagery, but the German drugmaker decided it was time for an evolution of the AFib campaign. The new DTC work, created by GSW, moves away from a simple all-white background for the CGI fish and gives them the blue-water backdrop of an aquarium, while also adding in visitors walking along and watching.

 

“We obviously still wanted to keep the red fish because that has been the key to success with its very simple way of describing a complex problem that resonates with consumers,” David Edwards, Boehringer executive director of cardiovascular marketing, said in an interview. “We’ve evolved it in way that infuses it with a bit more, I guess you could say, 'humanity,' as it was just the fish before.”

 

With a couple in focus in the ad, Pradaxa not only adds that human element, but also a subtle note of the woman leading the man, Edwards said, as a way to highlight women more in the communications. Women have AFib at about the same rate as men, but through marketing research, they've also been proven as household gatekeepers and purchase influencers.

 

Physician feedback for the campaign has also been positive, Edwards said, with doctors noting an uptick in patients asking about the treatment represented by the red fish or wanting to discuss the AFib treatment “with the reversal.” Pradaxa is the only med in its class with an FDA-approved reversal agent, which may ease some patients' and doctors' worries about the potentially fatal bleeding side effects that come along with the new-age drugs. As in the original "Red Fish" ad, agent Praxbind is not mentioned by name, but rather referred to as the only emergency reversal treatment just for Pradaxa.

 

The red fish imagery also appears in Pradaxa communications with healthcare providers, as well as TV, print and digital consumer-facing work, and it will likely be around for some time. Edwards said this campaign will run through the end of the year, but he expects that thanks to its success, it will continue to evolve beyond that.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I have noted in the past (http://bit.ly/1dBgGRz) that every anti-Afib medication DTC campaign uses similar imagery of an elderly couple and the patient is the husband (or father).

In these ads, the man is clearly the focus although women are equally as likely to have Afib. 

At the time I asked: "Why are women only portrayed as caregivers and otherwise "left out of the [Afib] picture" in these ads?"

 

Clearly, the BI marketers are trying to defend themselves by "highlighting women more" in the ads - but it is so subtle as to be meaningless because it actually reinforces that the man is the patient and the woman is there just to guide him.

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Gilead's Harvoni Ads Ramp Up the "Cure" Message

Gilead's Harvoni Ads Ramp Up the "Cure" Message | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Gilead is adjusting its message in new advertising for hepatitis C drug Harvoni, replacing its two-year-old introductory ad with a spot highlighting patients' relief after treatment. Three key words: "I am cured."

 

“Let Go” replaces “I Am Ready” as the new theme in the marketing effort, which is meant to reach patients who've been diagnosed with hep C, but haven't undergone treatment, a spokeswoman for Gilead said. In a just over one week on the air, the TV ad has tallied more than $6.4 million in national media spending, with the bulk of airings occurring in primetime, according to data from real time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

 

In the ad, dozens of people walk through a desert carrying Chinese lanterns, which they light and release skyward as the day turns into night. The voiceover assures viewers: "I no longer live with the uncertainties of hep C, wondering what if? I let go of all those feelings because I am cured, with Harvoni."

 

Further Reading:

  • “Gilead’s New Hep C TV Campaign Urges Baby Boomers to Get Off Their Butts & Get Tested”; http://sco.lt/9KSHIn
  • “Scoop.it!
  • “Will Gilead’s Hep C Sales Implode or Just Hit Equilibrium?"; http://sco.lt/69RQUz
  • “NIH-led Study to Assess Long-Term Outcome of Harvoni for Treatment of Hep-C”; http://sco.lt/5FuPeT
Pharma Guy's insight:

This is another arm of the DTC ad campaign to tramp up flagging sales and possibly anticipating that long-term outcome NIH studies may prove that "cure" is an overstatement.

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DTC #FierceMadness Down to "Elite Eight" Where Celebs & Comics Rule

DTC #FierceMadness Down to "Elite Eight" Where Celebs & Comics Rule | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The DTC #FierceMadness field narrowed to just eight this weekend, with hope beating out fear as the remaining “scare-tactic” ads went down to more inspirational campaigns. More than 750 ballots were cast in a round three that also saw celebrity spokespeople rise to the top.

 

In corporate and disease awareness ads, Pfizer’s tribute to scientists, "Before it Became a Medicine," trumped Mylan’s intense peanut allergy anaphylaxis spot. While a few commenters thought the scariness was effective (“Brilliantly scary. It's like a mini horror movie,” one said), the majority preferred Pfizer’s encouraging message.

 

[For more about the Pfizer's "Before It Became a Medicine" campaign, read “Pfizer, U.S. Law Breaker & Tax Evader, Launches an Ad Campaign to Improve Its Rep”; http://sco.lt/6YHmoj]

 

Also in the corporate bracket, Allergan’s female empowerment push "Actually She Can" bested the Big Bad Wolf from GlaxoSmithKline’s whooping cough warning in a closer 179-166 contest. Voters did like the powerful image of the wolf, but were edged out by the voters who chimed in with sentiments like “Way to go, girls!”

 

Another close battle in the autoimmune division came between Allergan's Linzess stop-motion ads and Takeda’s superhero comic book collaboration with Marvel for IBD. Superheroes prevailed, however, in the 234-210 contest, thanks to a “great campaign that uses the power of storytelling and superheroes to help kids feel comfortable with their IBD.” [Read “Takeda & Marvel Comics: Super Hero Reveals His Secret IBD Problem, Gets Girl Anyway”; http://sco.lt/79O6WP]

 

Famous spokespeople also ruled in this round, with ads featuring actors Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Aniston pulling out the wins.

 

In the only two brand-name against brand-name drug ad showdowns, J&J’s HIV treatment Prezcobix beat Allergan’s migraine and wrinkle buster Botox by a tally of 379-145. And in an extremely close 178-173 take-down, Takeda’s Entyvio "Bathroom Door" campaign just edged out Novartis' real psoriasis patients in the Cosentyx "See Me" effort.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Pharma Goes for Gold in TV Ads During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games”; http://sco.lt/5Sbc5R
  • “GSK's Whooping Cough Vaccination Campaign Needlessly Demonizes Wolves as Well as Grannies!”; http://sco.lt/52JoCf
  • “Who Said DTC Ads Are Not Effective? Those ‘Knotty’ Linzess Ads Increased Sales by 30% Claims Ironwood Executive”; http://sco.lt/6p807l
  • “Celebrities Who Shill for #Pharma”; http://sco.lt/5mzajZ
  • “Allergan See's Shire's Aniston and Raises Tomei to Promote Restasis”; http://sco.lt/8r5bxB
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Over Half of the DTC Ad Spend by the Top 10 Advertised Drugs in 2016 was Made by Pfizer

Over Half of the DTC Ad Spend by the Top 10 Advertised Drugs in 2016 was Made by Pfizer | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pharma companies’ ad spending jumped again last year to $5.6 billion, up from $5.2 billion in 2015, according to Nielsen data (read “Direct-to-Consumer #Pharma Drug Ad Spending at an All-Time High”; http://sco.lt/61NlRp). And Pfizer is in large part to thank.

 

The drugmaker led the top branded spending for Lyrica, with $174 million on fibromyalgia ads and another $170 million advertising its indication for diabetes-related pain, for a total of $344 million. Lyrica was trailed by another Pfizer drug, rheumatoid arthritis-fighter Xeljanz, at $189 million, and Eli Lilly’s diabetes treatment Trulicity, with $185 million spent. And Pfizer didn't stop there; five of the top nine meds with the highest spending are Pfizer brands.

Pharma Guy's insight:

The total spending of the TOP 10 drugs in 2016 was $1.59 billion. At least $880 million of that (55%) was spent by Pfizer.

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Overhyped Drug Ads Are Often “Pain Points” for Some Physicians

Overhyped Drug Ads Are Often “Pain Points” for Some Physicians | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The major “pain point” between healthcare professionals and drugmakers is trust, and pharmaceutical ads often get in the way of that trust, Dr. Joseph Habboushe, a physician at NYU Langone Medical Center, told attendees at ePharma.

 

“Us doctors, we get advertised to constantly, and it's not always the most straightforward way,” said Habboushe, who is also CEO of MDCalc, a medical score provider.

 

Oftentimes, drugmakers blur the lines between a drug's benefits and risks, quoting drug benefits in relative risks and actual risks in absolute value, making the benefits appear substantial and the risks less significant, noted Habboushe, while speaking Tuesday at the annual conference in New York City (read, for example, Opdivo TV Ads Educate Patients About the Positive, Not the Negative Trial Data; http://sco.lt/5OtIdl).

 

“Doctors start sensing this and at the end of the day, we don't fully trust our medical references,” said Habboushe. “We look for messaging from pharmaceutical companies not necessarily to help us treat our patients but to some extent to flag and discredit it.”

           

“What works for us is not just a flashy advertisement as much as, ‘Here's information that will help with the decision you're making now,” said Habboushe. “‘Or by the way, there's this new drug out there, and there are some other patients you might see tomorrow [who may be suitable for it.]''”

 

Transparency is key, agreed all speakers on the panel. The more drugmakers get comfortable with sharing negative as well as positive information, the more healthcare professionals will trust them and their messages, said Rohit Heryani, senior manager of multichannel marketing at Daiichi Sankyo.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

It’s appropriate that this discussion took place on the Intrepid aircraft carrier. It’s going to take more than a panel discussion to move the “aircraft carrier” issue of transparency in drug ads and promotions to physicians.

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AbbVie, Pfizer Drive 2017 #Pharma TV Ad Spending to Record High

AbbVie, Pfizer Drive 2017 #Pharma TV Ad Spending to Record High | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Think you saw a lot of TV ads for drugs in 2017? That's because you did. Pharma spending on national TV ads for 2017 climbed even higher than in 2016—by more than $330 million. The total tally was $3.45 billion, compared with $3.11 billion in 2016, according to data from real-time TV tracker iSpot.tv.

 

The full list of the top 20 TV ad spenders below, courtesy of iSpot.

 

  1. AbbVie’s Humira: $341 million
  2. Pfizer’s Lyrica: $216 million
  3. Pfizer’s Xeljanz: $167 million
  4. Eli Lilly’s Trulicity: $145 million
  5. Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Eliquis: $142 million
  6. Merck’s Keytruda: $127 million
  7. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto: $120 million
  8. Eli Lilly’s Taltz: $116 million
  9. GlaxoSmithKline’s Breo: $103 million
  10. Novartis’ Cosentyx: $100 million
  11. Novo Nordisk’s Victoza: $98 million
  12. AstraZeneca’s Farxiga: $87.4 million
  13. Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly's Jardiance: $86.9 million
  14. Bristol-Myers Squibb: Opdivo: $82 million
  15. Celgene’s Otezla: $78 million
  16. Gilead’s Harvoni: $75 million
  17. Allergan’s Linzess: $73 million
  18. Novartis’ Entresto: $71 million
  19. Otsuka and Lundbeck's Rexulti: $69 million
  20. Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana: $63 million

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

According to Kantar Media, pharma spending on TV ads in 2016 was $4.1 Bn. See chart.

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ViiV Employs Patient Ambassadors to Start in First Branded (Triumeq) TV Ads for HIV Treatment - Warning Card Included!

ViiV Employs Patient Ambassadors to Start in First Branded (Triumeq) TV Ads for HIV Treatment - Warning Card Included! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

GlaxoSmithKline's ViiV Healthcare is taking its dedicated history in HIV treatment and community involvement to the small screen. New TV advertising for its HIV fighter Triumeq features five people living with HIV talking about their diagnoses and treatment, as well as images showing how they’re “Moving Forward.”

It may also be a first for an HIV drug; while HIV awareness ads have aired on TV before, no other branded HIV drugs, at least in recent history, have aired TV spots. Healthcare professionals, advocates and people living with HIV have been asking ViiV for some time why they weren’t advertising on TV, Andrew Perry, ViiV VP of marketing in the U.S., said in an email interview.

“Given the importance of presenting realistic, positive images of the life a person being treated for HIV can lead, we felt like it was the right time to broaden our approach,” he said. “… We felt that now more than ever we must present a realistic, modern view of what the life of a person living with HIV can look like if their HIV is appropriately treated—and to do that on television for the first time. Reaching some people living with HIV can also be difficult, so television advertising is one more way to broaden our reach to help ensure no one living with HIV is left behind."

Some of the people who star in the TV spot already appear in other media for Triumeq. ViiV also used an organization that connects patients with companies looking for ambassadors and advocates, Perry said, acknowledging the “brave step” these patients have taken.

“Appearing on TV is a daunting commitment, and publicly disclosing their HIV status in a national TV campaign required an amazing level of bravery for each of our ambassadors. We are so grateful for their courage in sharing their status and their journey,” he said.

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The Average American is Exposed to Over 1,000 TV Drug Ads per Year

The Average American is Exposed to Over 1,000 TV Drug Ads per Year | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The lawmaker’s claim was eye-popping: Americans watch 16 hours of pharma ads a year, on average.

 

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, recited that statistic on Tuesday during a finance committee hearing on health care costs and coverage, arguing that such ads are “driving our pharma costs through the roof.”

 

Can that number possibly be correct? To check, we did the math on the back of the proverbial napkin.

 

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average American watched 2 hours and 42 minutes of TV each day last year. The media research firm Nielsen pegged the number higher, at 4 1/2 hours of live TV a day in the first quarter of last year. So let’s average the two estimates for a ballpark figure of how many hours of TV Americans watch each day — 3 hours and 36 minutes a day, or 55 days (!) a year.

 

Ads usually take up a little over a quarter of airtime during popular TV shows, which means that the average American is watching about 15 and a half days of ads a year.

 

STAT found in a previous analysis of TV ads that spots from drug companies, both advertising specific products and promoting other corporate messages, represent a median of 5 percent of all the TV ads across broadcast and cable channels (read “Insights Into Which TV Shows Attract Pharma Ads & Why”; http://sco.lt/6MG5BZ).

 

From there, we can deduce that the average American is watching pharma ads for about 18.6 hours a year — pretty close to the number McCaskill offered.

 

Further reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

That’s 1,116 drug ads per year per “average American” (15 years and older) or 3 ads per day! The original STAT title asks "Do Americans really watch 16 hours of pharma ads a year?" but it's more accurate to say that Americans are exposed to these ads, which are often ignored or skipped over rather than watched.

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Great DTC Commercial for Anti-Depressant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presence!

Great DTC Commercial for Anti-Depressant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presence! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Great DTC Ad for Anti-Deprtessant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presense!

 

The US market for major depressive disorders will rise from $2.4 billion in 2015 to $4.6 billion in 2025. Rexulti, I [Rich Meyer] believe, is doing a great job trying to reach new patients with a great creative TV spot.

 

When visiting Rexulti.com, the first message you see is “still struggling with depression, even on an antidepressant?” It ties in very nicely with the TV commercial showing people turning away from everyday situations while holding up a face with a smile on it. I believe the creative is hard hitting and targeted.

 

 

The website completes the creative with full integration and a host of helpful patient tools, but wouldn’t it be great to hear and see actual patient stories or patients talking about their battle with depression?

 

It seems that Rexulti is getting ready to take a huge slice out of the depression market, but they really need to take the next step and bring patients together to talk about depression.

 

On Facebook a search for Rexulti only results in class action lawsuit pages.

 

This of course is going to scare the hell out of potential patients and it’s something this brand can’t ignore of they really believe in their product.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Love the tiny notice: "Actor portrayal"!

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Keytruda Ads Promise a Lot That's Not on the Label

Keytruda Ads Promise a Lot That's Not on the Label | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Recently, during some research, I had the opportunity to talk with a leading Oncologist in the Pittsburg area. I specifically wanted to hear his thoughts on the cancer DTC ads that were airing on TV and he was not happy. “The ads are promising too much . I have patients who are demanding certain treatments even though they don’t meet the criteria for treatment”. He specifically pointed to the Keytruda ad in a magazine (see image).

 

“Now I’m the one who has to explain to a patient that this treatment may not be for them and even if it is I have to try and set realistic expectations” he continued. I asked him if the ads were “too aggressive” to which he replied “absolutely”.

 

“Look, we would love to be able to tell patients that this treatment is going to allow them to live a lot longer, but that’s not what the product label says based on the company’s own clinical data. These ads have to set realistic expectations , but even before that idea they have to be a lot clearer on the criteria to be a candidate for treatment”.

 

John Mack, the Pharmaguy, has been critical of these ads as well (read, for example, “Merck’s New Keytruda DTC Ad is a ‘TRU Story’ Told by a Fake Patient (Actor)”; http://sco.lt/6nURcH), but my feeling has been of they give patients hope then maybe they are OK. That may be the wrong and it could lead to unrealistic expectations and anger for what patients feel are misleading ads.

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Viagra DTC TV Ad Spending Deflates Like Tom Brady’s Balls

Viagra DTC TV Ad Spending Deflates Like Tom Brady’s Balls | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

TV networks are trying to keep a stiff upper lip as the once-lucrative erectile dysfunction sector has begun sagging like a doctored football in Tom Brady's throwing hand. According to multiple insiders, a certain little blue pill has all but vanished from the airwaves, and its absence will be particularly conspicuous during the upcoming NFL season.

 

Nearly 20 years after the FDA first approved its use as an ED remedy, Pfizer's Viagra is losing its patent exclusivity, and that's a bitter pill to swallow for the TV business. Viagra hasn't aired a national TV advertisement since May 15, and network ad sales executives said the brand is unlikely to resurface, having sat out the 2017-18 upfront bazaar.

 

Football fans should notice the dearth of Viagra spots as early as Sept. 7, when NBC is set to broadcast its annual NFL Kickoff Game. When the Chiefs and Patriots square off in Foxborough, their clash will not be interrupted by pitches for what was until recently the NFL's top-spending pharmaceutical brand; according to iSpot.tv data, Viagra last season invested nearly $31 million in pro football inventory.

 

Ad sales bosses say that the disappearance of one of the NFL's top 40 highest-spending advertisers is a function of Viagra losing its exclusivity in the face of the impending launch of a generic version of the brand. Teva Pharmaceuticals is set to roll out a far cheaper variant of the compound on Dec. 11.

 

"Once a generic gets in the mix, that usually spells the end of any direct-to-consumer advertising for the legacy brand," said one ad sales exec. "Rather than continue to market something they no longer have exclusivity over -- which really can only help boost sales of the new generic pill -- the pharmaceutical company will reallocate that portion of its budget back into its brands that are still exclusive."

 

Further Reading:

  • A Dick Move by Pfizer: Raises Price of Viagra & Other Drugs by as Much as 28% in One Year!: http://sco.lt/5VHAjh 
  • Will You Miss Those ED DTC TV Ads When Viagra & Cialis Go Generic? John LaMattina Will: http://sco.lt/5bsTdh 
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Can You Put a Price Tag on Consumer Drug Ads? AMA Thinks It's Possible.

Can You Put a Price Tag on Consumer Drug Ads? AMA Thinks It's Possible. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Seeking to restrain drug prices, the American Medical Association passed a resolution that would require drug makers to disclose pricing in ads that are aimed at consumers.

 

The proposal, which was approved by AMA delegates at their annual meeting in Chicago, came in response to concerns over rising drug costs and an unsuccessful bid by the medical organization to convince Congress to ban so-called direct-to-consumer advertising altogether (read “AMA Calls for a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads”; http://sco.lt/4iRfrF).

 

The resolution, which must still clear some review hurdles at the AMA, is designed to improve transparency, according to the Massachusetts Medical Society, one of six organizations in New England that jointly proposed the idea (see Resolution 236). [UPDATE: The AMA wants drug makers to disclose the suggested manufacturer’s retail price, but does not offer a definition, and there are myriad prices, of course, that can vary].

 

Ultimately, the medical organization hopes to persuade the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration to formalize the pricing disclosure. But one opponent predicted the effort will go nowhere for several reasons.

 

“I don’t expect anything to happen,” said John Kamp, who heads the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, a trade group for medical publishers and advertising agencies. “This is a Republican administration and all three of those agencies are unlikely to be very interested.” [LOL! I once thought that passing a law to ban DTC drug ads was about as likely as trump being elected president: http://sco.lt/7NoUtd So, you never know!]

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

LOL! I once thought that passing a law to ban DTC drug ads was about as likely as trump being elected president. So, you never know!

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How a DTC Campaign for a Drug to Treat Laughing & Crying Sent Sales Soaring

How a DTC Campaign for a Drug to Treat Laughing & Crying Sent Sales Soaring | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

An overhead light drawing attention to his face, the actor Danny Glover drops his head into one hand and starts to cry. Then, he abruptly switches to deep belly laughs, before resuming a straight face.

 

“When I act, if I do this, it’s totally in my control,” he says into the camera. “But for someone with pseudobulbar affect, choosing to cry or laugh may not be your decision.”

 

The 60-second TV advertisement, aired widely until late last year, has raised questions about the role of direct-to-consumer advertising — typified by ads that call on you to “ask your doctor” about possible treatment — in promoting the use of medicines for uncommon conditions far beyond the narrow population of people who most benefit from them.

 

Pseudobulbar affect, or PBA, is a neurological condition characterized by inappropriate, uncontrolled outbursts of laughing or crying. The ad did not mention any drug by name. But it was sponsored by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, the California firm that manufactures Nuedexta, a medicine that targets the disorder. The ad ends by referring viewers to a “Facts About PBA” website and a toll-free number.

 

PBA mostly affects those with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, a recent stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Because the definition of the condition is ambiguous, estimates of its prevalence vary. Doctors may find PBA common or uncommon, depending on their specialty. Avanir sets the number at two million Americans.

 

The market has proved lucrative. Nuedexta’s sales rose to $218 million last year from about $37 million in 2012, according to EvaluatePharma, which tracks pharmaceutical pricing and markets.

 

“I suspect this disease is being redefined to include overly emotional people” through advertising, said Adriane Fugh-Berman, a doctor who teaches at Georgetown University Medical Center and has investigated pharmaceutical marketing practices. The United States is one of two countries that allows advertising of prescription drugs.

 

Nuedexta has also attracted attention because it is expensive, more than $700 a month for a supply of twice-a-day pills. The drug is a combination of two low-cost ingredients — an over-the-counter cough medicine and a generic heart drug — that, purchased separately, would run roughly $20 a month, according to online cost estimators.

 

Nuedexta doesn’t cure PBA, but it must be taken for the rest of a patient’s life to help reduce episodes of laughing or crying. While it’s the only drug approved specifically for PBA by the Food and Drug Administration, doctors have successfully used several less expensive treatments, all antidepressants, to treat the condition.

 

“The cost for mixing two old drugs together is unconscionable,” said Dr. Jerome Avorn, a professor at Harvard Medical School and the chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

 

The strategic marketing of Nuedexta is part of a trend in which even small pharmaceutical firms turn to the airwaves to encourage use of their products. Pharmaceutical industry spending on television ads has been on the rise — up 62 percent since 2012 to an estimated $6.4 billion — even as TV advertising for other product types has stayed flat, according to Kantar Media, a firm that tracks multimedia advertising.

 

By last year, drug ads were the sixth-most-common category of television advertisement — behind cars and restaurants — up from 12th just five years ago. A number of the ads, like Nuedexta’s, promote medication for unusual conditions, such as a sleep disorder that affects only people who are blind. Others target more common conditions, such as opioid-induced constipation.

 

After F.D.A. approval of the drug, Avanir began its pitch to consumers with a 2013 ad campaign online and on television that directed viewers to the PBA facts website. The campaign produced “an overwhelming” response, with “350,000 new unique visitors to the website or calls to the hotline,” Keith A. Katkin, the chief executive at the time, told investors that year.

 

But after marketing surveys found that only about one-third of potential patients and primary-care doctors who treat such patients knew about PBA, Avanir enlisted Mr. Glover’s celebrity firepower, said Lauren D’Angelo, the senior director of marketing for Avanir. The advertisement featuring Mr. Glover, who doesn’t have PBA, appeared on cable and national news programs in 2015 and through the end of last year. Mr. Glover’s publicist said he didn’t have any comment on the campaign.

 

After the ad ran, a subsequent survey found that awareness among primary-care doctors rose to 72 percent, and to 52 percent among patients (read “25% More People Think They Have PBA After Seeing Danny Glover Laughing Uncontrollably!”; http://sco.lt/7jJfRx).

 

“It was an extremely successful campaign,” Ms. D’Angelo said. “We drove a lot of patients into doctors’ offices. The challenge was that they did not ask for Nuedexta by name.”

 

For sales, that was a problem. Instead of receiving Nuedexta, some patients were prescribed an antidepressant or received an incorrect diagnosis, she said.

 

So in 2017, the drug maker unveiled a new advertising campaign. This one, currently running on prime-time TV, features a man bursting into tears at a child’s birthday party. It specifically calls on viewers to “ask about Nuedexta.”

 

“We are mimicking what we want them to do — to ask about PBA and ask about Nuedexta,” Ms. D’Angelo said.

Pharma Guy's insight:

BTW, I took the PBA assessment "tool," which was developed by "healthcare professionals and is called the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS)." I was assured that my answers to the seven "simple questions will help your doctor determine if [I] could have PBA." Of course, I scored way above the cutoff score of 13, which "accurately predicted neurologists’ diagnoses for 82% of participants" in the above cited study. Or, as Avanir says, "may suggest PBA symptoms and should be discussed with your doctor." http://bit.ly/1eogmrR 

 

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K.I.R.M. God is Business " From Day One"'s curator insight, February 14, 2:33 PM

Laughter is good medicine. As I visited with someone yesterday that was not in his healthiest state but him and his sister was saying smart things which made him laugh during his time of need for laughter as medicine and though I did not know what was said to be true as a servant of God i laughed with them not in agreement to what was said but in agreement that God would use the laughter in conversation as medicine to not only heal his body but to heal his family members in each and every way God knew there was need of for both their individual needs and collectively together. As I was ask all that will to pray for Mr. Pittman and his entire family. For 1 can put a thousand to flight but two can put ten thousand to flight and we ask you to pray for restoration of God health for Mr. Pittman and that God bless his Mother in such special ways that God knows she has need of in each and every area of her life. 


 


Thanks to all be cause God is able.

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DTC Advertising “Not Helpful” in Making Sermo Doctors’s Jobs Easier

DTC Advertising “Not Helpful” in Making Sermo Doctors’s Jobs Easier | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

It's well documented that the American Medical Association isn't a huge fan of direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals and devices (read “AMA Calls for a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads”; http://sco.lt/4iRfrF). Individual doctors, however, have been far less vocal about their feelings toward DTC. Do they believe that the ads help educate patients? Do they derive any benefits themselves, in terms of awareness or anything else, from the ads?

 

We had SERMO, a social network for physicians, ask them. In response to the question, “Do you believe DTC drug advertisements primarily (1) are helpful to doctor–patient communications and educate patients or (2) make doctor–patient communications more difficult and do not provide valuable educational content to patients,” 21% (353 doctors) said the former and 79% (1,343 doctors) said the latter.

 

We've synthesized their comments here, preceded by the physician's area of specialty.

Pharma Guy's insight:

But I bet it increases their take home pay!

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Will It Be Downhill from Here for DTC Advertising?

Will It Be Downhill from Here for DTC Advertising? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

For all the talk about digital migration and channel agnosticism, pharma companies remain huge fans of direct-to-consumer television ads. In 2016, pharma spent $4.06 billion on TV buys, up 4% from $3.91 billion in 2015, according to Kantar Media.

 

[According to data from Nielsen, the U.S. drug industry spent $5.6 billion on DTC ads, excluding digital ads (read “Direct-to-Consumer #Pharma Drug Ad Spending at an All-Time High”; http://sco.lt/61NlRp According to the Nielsen chart shown here, the 2016 spend may have been $5.8 billion (excluding digital but including cinema).]

 

Related: Spending in and around much-heralded digital channels was more or less flat ($515 million in 2016 versus $516 million in 2015).

 

[This number probably does not include search. Thus the digital DTC ad spend is only about 8% of the total DTC spend!]

 

So, pharma loves TV and TV loves pharma — or, to be more specific, its endearing generosity (read “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z). But in the past 18 months or so, there has been an increasing sense that the rest of us may not be quite as sold on the marriage.

 

The first vocal pushback arrived in October 2015 when ­members of the MS community expressed some less-than-appreciative thoughts about the images and patient depictions in a Biogen TV spot for Tecfidera (read “More DTC Ad Backlash. This Time from Patient Bloggers!”; http://sco.lt/55MW1p). Bristol-Myers Squibb found itself on the receiving end of a similar response when its own series of ads for Opdivo made promises that, patients and caregivers alike proclaimed, the drug could not keep (read “Opdivo TV Ads "Educate" Patients About the Positive, Not the Negative Trial Data”; http://sco.lt/5OtIdl).

 

Taken in tandem with the anti-DTC sentiment preached by the American Medical Association (which has aggressively advocated ending the practice of advertising drugs directly to consumers) and the link alleged by many activists between pharma DTC spend and drug prices (which, once more for the record, is specious at best), one might well wonder if DTC on TV has reached an inflection point.

 

[Anti-DTC sentiment from American Medical Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.]

 

Could it be all downhill from here?

 

Further Reading:

  • “Is DTC Drug Advertising Effective? More - & BETTER - Research is Necessary”; http://sco.lt/7afJmD 
  • “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z
  • “Who Said DTC Ads Are Not Effective? Those ‘Knotty’ Linzess Ads Increased Sales by 30% Claims Ironwood Executive”; http://sco.lt/6p807l
  • Pharma Marketers Spend Too Much on TV Because of the ‘Fame & Glory’ It Brings”; http://sco.lt/7bmTMf
Pharma Guy's insight:

Patients have sounded their opinions loud and clear, in social media and elsewhere. Whether pharma's many DTC-on-TV boosters have heard them remains very much open to debate.

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Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) Is Effective In Increasing Inappropriate Prescribing, Say Researchers

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) Is Effective In Increasing Inappropriate Prescribing, Say Researchers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

If you needed more evidence as to why drugmakers continue to plunge billions of dollars into direct-to-consumer advertising, look no further than a recent study published in JAMA. In it, researchers found that broadcast DTC ads for drugs treating low testosterone were linked with “substantial overall increases” in patients being tested and treated for the same condition.

 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigated this potential link in 75 areas across the U.S. They found that out of 17 million commercially insured men, one million were tested and just over 283,000 began treatment between 2009 and 2013.

 

“Although the average increase in testosterone rates associated with a single ad exposure was less than 1%, advertisements were widespread and and frequent during the study period, direct-to-consumer advertising was associated with substantial overall increases in testosterone testing and initiation,” the study's' authors wrote.

 

[Note: The authors also wrote:

 

“While other studies have demonstrated associations between DTCA and increasing medication use, this study demonstrates increases in potentially inappropriate use and increasing initiation during a time when most testosterone use was of questionable value for age-related testosterone decreases without strong evidence of benefit. Characterizing the role of DTCA in promoting testosterone initiation among a large segment of middle-aged and older men for nonspecific symptoms and age-related declines in testosterone levels is relevant to ongoing policy debates regarding DTCA. This study complements many others that suggest the contribution that DTCA may make in the early adoption of recently approved treatments whose risk-benefit profile may be quite unclear.”

 

Consider the implications if drug marketers were allowed to promote off-label uses to consumers. In those cases the risk-benefit profile is certainly unclear or unverified by the FDA.]

 

Further Reading:

 

Podcast:

The Marketing of Low T.” Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center and Director of PharmedOut discusses how the marketing of Androgel uses ghostwriting, celebrities, symptom quizzes, and numbers to convince men and physicians that "low testosterone" is a medical condition that should be treated.

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#FierceMadness Features Some Scary DTC Ads: Dis These Duds!

#FierceMadness Features Some Scary DTC Ads: Dis These Duds! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

#FierceMadness is back—this time with DTC advertising. We've [FiercePharma] created our first-ever DTC March Madness tournament where drugmakers and their brands square off in search of the national title for best pharma ad of 2016.

 

Get ready for a battle. Pharma advertising can be polarizing, to say the least. For every ad watcher who wanted a Xifaxan "Gut Guy" squishy ball, five others were grossed out by the walking, talking intestinal tract that consistently interrupted their Sunday afternoon football. For every person who switched channels when the ladies in blue dresses started talking about erectile dysfunction, there were men who tuned in to the messages for info about Viagra single packs and text-in discount coupons.

 

But what is it that makes a "good" pharma ad? Is it edgy creative or serious messaging? Scary warnings or humorous characters?

 

In the spirit of March Madness basketball-bracket mania, we’d like our readers to help us figure that out. We've set up a Fierce bracket of matchups with ads that ran in 2016, and we want you to vote for your favorites and tell us why. For each round, cheer the champs and dis the duds in the comments section on the poll form.

 

To get started, the FiercePharmaMarketing staff has selected 40 of the best, most interesting or most controversial DTC advertising campaigns from 2016.

 

Some duds that should be dissed include:

 

Ad: “Flooded Room” heart failure disease awareness. Brand: Entresto. Further reading:

 

Ad: Entresto “Tomorrow”. Further reading:

  • “DTC Didn't Work, So Novartis Bumps Up Entresto Physician Marketing by $200M”; http://sco.lt/7RZilN

 

Ad: Opdivo “Most prescribed immunotherapy”. Further reading:

  • “Opdivo TV Ads "Educate" Patients About the Positive, Not the Negative Trial Data”; http://sco.lt/5OtIdl

 

Ad: “Ready. Raise. Rise” immuno-oncology awareness. Further reading:

  • “Ads for ‘Breakthrough’ Cancer Drugs Are ‘An Ocean of Hype,’ Say Oncologists”; http://sco.lt/5NIzOD

 

Ad: “PBA Facts” disease awareness with Danny Glover. Further reading:

  • “25% More People Think They Have PBA After Seeing Danny Glover Laughing Uncontrollably!”; http://sco.lt/7jJfRx

 

Ad: “Big Bad Wolf” whooping cough vaccination. Further reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

I hate advertising awards because they are so self-centered and only serve to promote advertisements for ad agencies in the publications that sponsor them. In this case, I pick out some of the worst ads that I think deserve no respect :)

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