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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DTC Didn't Work, So Novartis Bumps Up Entresto Physician Marketing by $200M

DTC Didn't Work, So Novartis Bumps Up Entresto Physician Marketing by $200M | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Novartis is significantly boosting its marketing spending — by at least $200 million — for Entresto, a heart-failure drug with blockbuster ambitions and lukewarm sales.

 

“We made the decision to increase spending in the second half of the year significantly versus our original budget,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said during the investor call. “This will be to support the U.S. field force primary care buildout as well as additional medical support.”

 

But Entresto hasn't performed as expected. The drug generated $32 million in sales in the second quarter of 2016, up from $17 million in the first quarter of the year. That means the therapy needs to bring in $151 million in sales within six months to meet projections of $200 million for 2016.

 

Novartis believes that marketing to primary-care physicians as well as cardiologists will help solve that problem, in part because primary-care doctors are more familiar than cardiologists when it comes to filling out prior-authorization forms. Primary-care physicians have “have better or more well-developed skills ... that have been on this journey themselves before in helping overcome these barriers,” said Paul Hudson, the new CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

 

In April, Novartis launched a direct-to-consumer ad campaign for Entresto, which featured seniors singing “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie.” (Read “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, After DTC, Sales Will Come for Entresto, Bet Your Bottom Dollar!”; http://sco.lt/7L6LHl).

It spent $5.5 million to advertise Entresto during the first three months of the year, according to Kantar Media.

 

Novartis has also worked with Greater Than One on the Keep it Pumping campaign, a global social campaign that includes a donate-your-heartbeat app. Greater Than One CEO Elizabeth Izard Apelles described the purpose of the campaign as creating “awareness among people who might not know they have heart problems, and then engaging as many people as possible in the program.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

I assume the lion's share of the extra $200 million will go toward physician marketing and not additional "Tomorrow, tomorrow" direct-to-consumer advertising. So, let's change the song accordingly:

 

Entresto sales'll come tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sales
Just thinkin' about extra sales reps tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till there's none
When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say
The sales'll come tomorrow, after more physician details
So you got to hang on till tomorrow, came what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You're always a physician detail away
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Tomorrow, Tomorrow, After DTC, Sales Will Come for Entresto, Bet Your Bottom Dollar!

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, After DTC, Sales Will Come for Entresto, Bet Your Bottom Dollar! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Novartis said it expects Entresto, its slow-to-take heart-failure medication, to generate $200 million in sales in 2016 as it kicks off a DTC campaign to help drive awareness of the drug.

The spot is called Tomorrow and features Entresto users going about their daily routines while singing the song Tomorrow from the musical Annie.

During a call with investors, David Epstein, the division head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said Entresto earned a “modest” $17 million in sales during the first quarter of 2016, but sees significant growth potential in the U.S. for the drug as patient access improves. By the end of 2016, the drugmaker expects Entresto to generate $200 million in revenue.

“The first quarter was going to be tackling access barriers, which we accomplished,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said during the call. “There still is prior authorization that's slowing some uptake as well as physician reluctance to switch stable patients, but we're working very hard on this and we're still very confident in long-term peak sales of Entresto just given the data on that drug.”

“We're outpacing competition with strong share gains in the psoriasis market,” said Jimenez. “In Germany, we have already bypassed Stelara in terms of market share. And we are on track that before the end of this year, it is quite likely that we could bypass the market share for Humira, which would make Cosentyx the number one biologic brand in the German market.”

Pharma Guy's insight:
Entresto sales'll come tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sales
Just thinkin' about DTC tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till there's none
When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say
The sales'll come tomorrow, after DTC
So you got to hang on till tomorrow, came what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You're always a DTC ad away
 
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#Pharma Disease Awareness Ads Scare You, Branded Drug Ads Reel You In With Calm Music

#Pharma Disease Awareness Ads Scare You, Branded Drug Ads Reel You In With Calm Music | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

I [Bob Ehrlich] was a strong supporter of the Novartis heart failure disease awareness ad. This was the one with the man in the room with water pouring in and filling up the room. It was criticized by some doctors for being alarmist. I never thought so myself, as heart failure is about as serious cause for alarm as there can be.

 

 

The disease ad was a precursor to a branded ad for Entresto, which I can’t stop thinking of as Ernesto. This ad is the polar opposite in tone to the disease education campaign. While the message of preventing heart failure is the same, the branded ad takes an uplifting approach.

 

The ad uses the song from Annie, “Tomorrow” which I guarantee you will sing for at least 24 hours after seeing it. It is a series of patient vignettes where the actors sing parts of the song. The message is that Entresto will help make more tomorrows possible.

 

The disease ad really stopped you in your tracks alerting viewers that heart failure is something to watch out for and act on. While deadly serious in tone, I think it was entirely appropriate. They could have used the same idea for the branded ad but they smartly chose to play up the positives. It is better to promise in the branded campaign hope about living longer than warning about early death.

Pharma Guy's insight:

"What was necessary in the disease ad to get your attention was not the best approach in the branded ad," Ehrlich says. This seems to be a mantra of the drug industry. Boehringer, for example, produced a couple of scary, dark disease awareness videos (read "Another Dark Disease Awareness Youtube Video from Boehringer"; http://sco.lt/5WjHhx).

 

Meanwhile, Novartis hopes uplifting TV ads may sell more Entrestro (read, for example, "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, After DTC, Sales Will Come for Entresto, Bet Your Bottom Dollar!"; http://sco.lt/7L6LHl).

 

Entresto sales'll come tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sales
Just thinkin' about DTC tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till there's none
When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely
I just stick out my chin and grin and say
The sales'll come tomorrow, after DTC
So you got to hang on till tomorrow, came what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You're always a DTC ad away
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