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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Allergan's Promotion of New Rosacea Drug: Is It False or Misleading Advertising?

Allergan's Promotion of New Rosacea Drug: Is It False or Misleading Advertising? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Allergan told investors it plans to increase its promotional efforts for its new rosacea drug, Rhofade, now that it has secured access on CVS Health's formulary. Rhofade is a treatment for erythema, or redness of the face, a common symptom of rosacea.

 

The FDA in January approved the drug, which works by constricting blood vessels in the face. Persistent facial redness is often treated with laser therapy. Rhofade, however, is a topical cream.

 

The company began advertising on Facebook last week and will ramp up other aspects of its consumer-advertising program, Bill Meury, Allergan's chief commercial officer, told investors during an earnings call on Thursday.

 

Allergan CEO Brent Saunders further discussed the company's promotional strategy, saying, “as you get formulary coverage, that gives you the ability to advertise more broadly. I liken it back to my consumer days: You don't run a lot of advertising until your product is on the shelf, and that's akin to having formulary coverage. So the team's really focused on access, and they're doing a great job. And as that continues to build, you'll see us continue to ramp up promotion.”

 

Allergan kicked off marketing efforts for Rhofade in May with Less Red More You, an awareness campaign featuring singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, who suffers from rosacea. Allergan has frequently leaned on celebrities to market its dermatology, women's health, and aesthetics portfolios. In the past two years, the company developed partnerships with actors Lea Michele, Kate Bosworth, and reality-TV personality Khloé Kardashian. Michele worked with Allergan for its women's health campaign, Actually She Can, while Kardashian kicked off the Live Chin Up campaign for Kybella, a chin-fat injection. Bosworth helped promote acne treatment, Aczone.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Kybella Double Chin TV Ad: Are the BEFORE & AFTER Photos REALLY Unretouched as Claimed?”; http://sco.lt/5CPdfl
Pharma Guy's insight:

Allergan again resorts to side-by-side "before and after” images to prove that this product works. This is the same technique the company used  to promote Kybella for double chin syndrome.

 

In that case, I analyzed the figures and suspected foul play; i.e., the after image was just a retouched version of the before image (see "Further Reading" link). The ad, however, claimed they were “unretouched photos.”

 

Despite some anonymous commentator to my blog post claiming he/she “worked on this campaign and I saw first hand that not one photo in the treatment area was retouched,” I don’t buy it.

 

But I will point out that the photos in this ad for Rhofade are definitely not retouched versions of the same photo. The ad, however, says “Illustration only.” Which means this is not a real case study of a real person’s response to the drug.

 

Perhaps that commentator learned from my blog to be more careful about its before-and-after imagery.

 

Whatever! Allergan is again practicing misleading and/or false advertising, IMHO!

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A Social Media Unmet Medical Need: Fear of “Submental Fullness" Invented by Kybella Marketers

A Social Media Unmet Medical Need: Fear of “Submental Fullness" Invented by Kybella Marketers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Studies show that more than two-thirds of aesthetically-oriented consumers are bothered by submental fullness, or "double chin." And with social media profile images becoming more important than ever, there is interest in looking one's best.

 

"The extraordinary reach of social media means our image is everywhere these days," says photographer Peter Hurley, author of The Headshot, "but unfortunately I have a lot clients tell me they actually avoid appearing in social media photos because they're unhappy or feel self-conscious about the way they look in these images."

 

So to help men and women everywhere put their best profiles forward on social media, KYBELLA, gathered a panel of profile experts to develop tips and tricks to help people improve their social media profile photos.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Related article: “New Drug Kybella Zaps Double Chin: Facetious FAQ”; http://sco.lt/7MZwpN

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Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV

Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Kybella, Allergan’s med for excess chin fat, is already in the middle of a successful launch. But the company is by no means stopping there, execs said Tuesday.

 

So far, the Dublin drugmaker has trained more than 4,000 providers to inject the drug--in other words, nearly half the product’s potential user base, commercial chief Bill Meury told investors on the company’s Q1 conference call. And of those trainees, 3,000 have already placed orders for the fat-fighter.

 

But Allergan knows it’s up to its own marketing ranks to lay “the groundwork in the creation and development of this new market for injectables,” Meury said--and so it plans to keep the push going strong. Later this year, the company will roll out a DTC campaign for Kybella, which will follow up on marketing activities that have included a partnership with Khloé Kardashian.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I knew a Kardashian was going to shill for Allergans "chin" buster drug (read "Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face"; http://sco.lt/8osXGD). But I thought it would be Kim and her fat ass as in this Kybella FAQ:

 

Could the drug help destroy fat cells in other areas of the body?

Like Kim Kardashian's ass?

 

BTW, Khloé easily competes with her sister ass-size-wise!

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New Drug Kybella Zaps Double Chin: Facetious FAQ

New Drug Kybella Zaps Double Chin: Facetious FAQ | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
A shot that dissolves fat will offer people with a double chin a way to get rid of it without surgery.
Pharma Guy's insight:


What is the treatment and how does it work?

It's a needle! It dissolves fat! Watch out -- hope none of it crosses the blood-brain barrier because then you are toast!


Why is it needed?

Because "80% of people with double chins are concerned about it"? Is that a good enough reason? This is the real world "HAVITOL" drug (see here for the reference: http://sco.lt/5jzlBJ).


What results should you expect?

Some people may get up to 50 injections in a single treatment. Whaaaa?


Can it help tighten a saggy chin?

"Some people did notice a tightening effect." -- especially people who are told they may notice a tightening effect.


What are the potential side effects?

"A possible serious side effect is an injury to the marginal mandibular nerve, which helps control facial expressions, causing an off-balance smile." I didn't make that one up.


Could the drug help destroy fat cells in other areas of the body?

Like Kim Kardashian's ass?


What will it cost?

An arm and a chin. Badda Bing!

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Much More Kybella TV DTC Advertising on the Way

Much More Kybella TV DTC Advertising on the Way | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Allergan plans to increase its investment in DTC for its chin-fat reducing injection, Kybella, to “an even higher level,” after the drug's sales [took it on the chin] at the end of 2016.

 

In the last three months of 2016 Allergan reported that Kybella saw sales of $12 million, compared to $14 million in the three-month period before that. The drugmaker acquired Kybella in its deal to buy Kythera Biopharmaceuticals in 2015. The drug was also approved in 2015.

 

Bill Meury, Allergan's chief commercial officer, on Wednesday told investors that the company plans to focus on training clinicians on how to use the product, identifying patients, and managing patients' expectations. “We're building a market,” he explained. “Our goal in 2017 is to drive utilization.”

 

Allergan's consumer-oriented promotional efforts for Kybella included a live event in March with Khloé Kardashian (read “Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV”; http://sco.lt/6TW6qX). The company also launched two DTC ad spots in August: one called Ancestors, in which a man laments the double chin he inherited from his otherwise distinguished ancestors (read “Kybella Double Chin TV Ad: Are the BEFORE & AFTER Photos REALLY Unretouched as Claimed?”; http://sco.lt/5CPdfl), and Adra's Portrait in Action, which tells a near-identical story, but with a woman narrating.

 

Brent Saunders, the company's CEO, affirmed the company's confidence in direct-to-consumer advertising during the same investor call, “We spend the second most on DTC,” he said. For the data on that, see here: http://sco.lt/95gSRt

Pharma Guy's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “New Drug Kybella Zaps Double Chin: Facetious FAQ”; http://sco.lt/7MZwpN
  • “Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face”; http://sco.lt/8osXGD
  • “Allergen Seeks to Own Women's "Lower Face" with New Indication for Kybella. DTC to Follow.”; http://sco.lt/8Objqz
  • “A Social Media Unmet Medical Need: Fear of ‘Submental Fullness’ Invented by Kybella Marketers”; http://sco.lt/4jse3N
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Allergen Seeks to Own Women's "Lower Face" with New Indication for Kybella. DTC to Follow.

Allergen Seeks to Own Women's "Lower Face" with New Indication for Kybella. DTC to Follow. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Allergan thinks facial injectable Kybella has the potential to one day bank Botox-level sales. And the company is starting up a couple new studies to help it get there.

 

The Dublin drugmaker is initiating trials of the med in bra-line fat and fat around the knees and ankles, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal wrote in a recent note to clients. And it’s hoping those will eventually help it add some new indications to the mix, on top of Kybella’s current approval for busting chin fat [read “New Drug Kybella Zaps Double Chin: Facetious FAQ”; http://sco.lt/7MZwpN].

 

The way CEO Brent Saunders describes it, Allergan’s aesthetic strategy is “owning the face” [read, for example, “Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face”; http://sco.lt/8osXGD ]--and Allergan expects Kybella to “serve as a gateway to the lower face,” commercial chief Bill Meury told investors on the company’s Q2 conference call. It expects that strategy to open up a new market of consumers--including males.

 

Next up? “We are creating awareness and demand among consumers, which will be boosted by our DTC campaign beginning this month,” he said.

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Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face

Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Stand down flaccid penis, the next fat profit center in the pharmaceutical industry may be the double chin.


Allergan Plc is beginning an aggressive sales blitz for Kybella, the first injectable treatment for what the medical industry terms “submental fat” and you probably think of as the junk inside of jowls. “It’s a disruptive technology,” said Philippe Schaison, president of Allergan’s U.S. medical business. “It’s working great, and there’s nothing like it.”


Scientists at Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. worked on Kybella for roughly a decade. Soon after the Food and Drug Administration approved the chin treatment, in April 2015, Allergan moved to buy Kythera for $2.1 billion in cash.

 

Allergan is putting together an advertising blitz, including a number of television commercials, that will flood televisions in September.


The active ingredient in Kybella, deoxycholic acid, is a form of bile that destroys fat cells in the digestive tract. It turns out that the stuff does the same in the chin. The treatment involves 20 to 30 tiny injections by a doctor, with care to avoid the nerves and major blood vessels running under the jawline.


Each session costs about $1,500, and most patients require two to four, according to Dr. Anne Chapas, a dermatologist in Manhattan. Her practice, Union Square Laser Dermatology, now performs a few Kybella treatments a week. “We’ve been hearing about this for over 10 years, so we were absolutely excited about it,” Dr. Chapas said. “We know there’s huge potential.”


That broad potential has made it difficult for analysts to forecast the drug’s sales. Allergan believes Kybella could eventually become a $1 billion business, roughly half the company’s current Botox revenue. Krutoholow is forecasting $500 million in annual sales, and Sanford Bernstein expects the treatment to garner $306 million a year by 2020.


Of course, even a billion-dollar chin business would be fairly tiny next to erectile-dysfunction pills, which garnered $4.3 billion in sales around the world last year. But Kybella should quickly blow past Prozac (depression), Propecia (hair loss), and Prilosec (heartburn). And why stop at the bottom of your face? Allergan is already testing whether Kybella might be safe and effective in arms, knees, and love handles.

 

“We own the face,” said Allergan’s Philippe Schaison.

Pharma Guy's insight:

What is the treatment and how does it work?

It's a needle! It dissolves fat! Watch out -- hope none of it crosses the blood-brain barrier because then you are toast!

 

Why is it needed?

Because "80% of people with double chins are concerned about it"? Is that a good enough reason? This is the real world "HAVITOL" drug (see here for the reference: http://sco.lt/5jzlBJ).

 

What results should you expect?

Some people may get up to 50 injections in a single treatment. Whaaaa?

 

Can it help tighten a saggy chin?

"Some people did notice a tightening effect." -- especially people who are told they may notice a tightening effect.

 

What are the potential side effects?

"A possible serious side effect is an injury to the marginal mandibular nerve, which helps control facial expressions, causing an off-balance smile." I didn't make that one up.

 

Could the drug help destroy fat cells in other areas of the body?

Like Kim Kardashian's ass?

 

What will it cost?

An arm and a chin. Badda Bing!

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