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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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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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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Gilead’s New Hep C TV Campaign Urges Baby Boomers to Get Off Their Butts & Get Tested

Gilead’s New Hep C TV Campaign Urges Baby Boomers to Get Off Their Butts & Get Tested | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Gilead's hep C blockbusters are in freefall, and its pool of eligible patients has shrunk dramatically thanks to the success of its meds. If all baby boomers got tested for the virus, though? That could help stem the tide—and it's exactly the move the company is recommending with its latest awareness push.

 

With its second awareness effort—the first began in 2014 before its hep C combo Harvoni hit the market—the Big Biotech reaches out to the almost 75 million people born between 1945 and 1965, following the age range used by the CDC in its recommendation that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C.

 

"For millions of baby boomers, there's a virus out there. A virus that's serious, like HIV, but it hasn't been talked about much," a narrator says over images of active boomers looking out over majestic nature scenes. "One in 30 boomers has hep C, yet most don't even know it," the narrator notes, before going over the disease's liver damage and cancer risks and reminding viewers that testing is "the only way to know for sure."

 

While the first awareness campaign sought to re-engage people diagnosed with hep C, the current campaign, dubbed “Forgotten Virus,” goes out more broadly to baby boomers who may not know about the disease, to encourage testing and also to let them know that if they do have it, it can be cured, said David Johnson, Gilead VP, U.S. sales and marketing for liver diseases, in an email interview. Boomers are about five times more likely to have hep C than other adults.

 

The campaign comes at a time when sales of one-time record-breakers Harvoni and component med Sovaldi are slumping; Gilead recently reported that Harvoni sales dropped by 34% in 2016, thanks to competition (read “Gilead Sales of Hep C Drugs May Drop to $14 Bn by 2018 Due to Stiff Competition”; http://sco.lt/8bunVB), payer discounting and the inevitable slowdown of patients, as many people who had hep C when the combo launched have now been treated (read "Will Gilead’s Hep C Sales Implode or Just 'Hit Equilibrium?'"; http://sco.lt/69RQUz).  Targeting unaware baby boomers could unearth new patients that need treatment.

Pharma Guy's insight:

HA HA! The ad shows baby boomers lounging on bent trees and wandering aimless through the landscape as if they are in a trance and have nothing better to do! No doubt millennials are in charge of the storyboards for these ads and it's their way of getting back at their baby boomer parents!

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The Condé Nast Traveller’s Guide to TV DTC Drug Advertising

The Condé Nast Traveller’s Guide to TV DTC Drug Advertising | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Eyeforpharma survey’s findings show that investment in DTC may be increasing but its effectiveness is decreasing. Numerous studies have shown that DTC TV spots are less than 20% effective in driving patients into their doctors to ask for an Rx (read “Pharma is Spending More on DTC Advertising But Its Effectiveness is Decreasing, Says New Survey”; http://sco.lt/7XpFsf).  

 

So the question becomes “why?” are DTC marketers so in love with TV?

 

[Rich Meyer] asked two senior executives to explain pharma’s love with DTC at a time when the channel is showing less of an ROI. Here are their responses…

 

A former senior pharma Director got a new job and all of her colleagues and vendors made a big farewell fuss over her. One of the biggest fusses was from her main agency, whose top account guy just said, that she was a really good client. She responded, “to be a great client, you have to have a great agency….” and she went on to list, not all the great revenues her agency had brought in for her and not even the awards their campaigns had won, but for exotic shooting locations that cost a small fortune. It quickly became apparent that these were all the “locations” her agency had determined were the “most cost-effective” locations to shoot her commercials. It was like something out of Condé Nast Traveler. She loved her agency because she loved the location-shooting life.

 

Then there is this…

 

A pharma company was launching a small product that would have only a short interval to make its peak sales before it was pushed off the market by generics. He was determined to do it smart with no TV, no mass media, just all digital… and targeted.” However, after submitting a great plan we didn’t hear back and then we learned why. A senior pharma executive told him “no one ever got promoted her for having a smart, efficient plan. The way you get promoted here is to have a killer TV spot.”

 

"I wish I could say that these are isolated incidents, but they aren’t," said Meyer. "While on shoot locations I have seen staff stay at expensive hotels and order expensive dinners and having the agency cover the charges so pharma executives don’t find out. I have seen DTC people buy things through their agency, supposedly for props, and hen wind up keeping the items. It’s more widespread than you think."

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Are TV Ads for Drug Lawsuits Bad for your Health?

[Faces of Lawsuit Abuse.org is a project of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.]

 

In 2015, trial lawyers spent 128 million dollars to air 365,000 ads hawking lawsuits against drugs and medical devices. But these ads can be harmful to the public health.

According to a recent report submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, at least 30 people suffered strokes, heart attacks and other serious medical problems because they stopped taking the blood thinning drug Xarelto after seeing a lawsuit commercial. And two people have died.

 

Further reading:

 

Hmmm... AMA (http://sco.lt/5RkA4X) says "often it is the first time the public learns about those potential complications and side effects..." Seems to me that these ads should be praised rather than condemned! Why don't the doctors pro-actively warn their patients of potential side effects in the first place! The fact that they often don't do that is reason for the fear between patient and physician.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Note: I could not find the alleged "recent report" that claims 2 people died after seeing such an ad for Xarelto. 

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Pharma Goes for Gold in TV Ads During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Pharma Goes for Gold in TV Ads During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Olympic Games marketers have a long history of crafting emotional TV ads that “soft sell” brands or companies. Themes like determination, family, triumph over adversity, and patriotism often result in heartwarming, dramatic and even cinematic TV commercials.

This year, some pharma marketers are joining in and following some of those more traditionally emotional Olympic ad themes.

Of the 6 pharma ads tracked by iSpot.tv that aired during the opening Olympic Games weekend, three were corporate or disease awareness TV spots that fit the subtler and more emotional mold.

Take Pfizer’s ($PFE) anthemic “Before it Became a Medicine,” which traces the long journey of a drug going from idea to compound to an actual pill. The emotional play is strong as the ad ends, when a young father taking that pill says, as he scoops his young son into his arms, “and so after it became a medicine, someone who couldn’t be cured, could be. Me.”

Merck ($MRK) ran a new version of its poignant disease awareness ad for HPV vaccinations during primetime Olympic coverage, too. The new 1-minute ad features both a young woman and a young man who talk about now having cancer caused by HPV. In a series of age regression photos, both go back in time to their pre-teen selves. Along the backward time lapse, they ask, “who knew” that there was something that could have protected them long before they were exposed to HPV. In the final shot of each story, now as 12-year-olds, they ask “Did you know? Mom? Dad?”

The other emotionally fraught ad came from Mylan ($MYL), which re-aired its relatively new “Face Your Risk” ad addressing the dangers of severe food allergies. In it, a young woman gasps for breath after eating a brownie with peanut butter in it. As her friends panic and dial 911, the girl looks into the mirror at her swollen face now covered in hives and then passes out.


Even some of the branded pharma ads that aired the first weekend leaned Olympic.

Novo Nordisk’s ($NVO) TV ad for its diabetes treatment Victoza featured Olympic gold medal basketball player Dominque Wilkins, which is a direct tie, but Wilkins also talks about the “moment of truth” for people like himself with Type 2 diabetes. Pfizer’s commercial for rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz XR goes the family route with an ad that shows a mom being awakened by her adorable and active young daughter before they going about their active day with a model-handsome and loving dad.

Pharma Guy's insight:

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 

 

Perhaps August will even surpass July as the biggest month for pharma TV ads. For more on that, read “In July #Pharma Spent Money on TV Advertising Like There Was No Tomorrow!”; http://sco.lt/94XYgL

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Ad Agency Clients Are Most Interested in Advertising on TV.

Ad Agency Clients Are Most Interested in Advertising on TV. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Roughly half of US ad agency professionals said their clients are most interested in advertising on spot TV or spot cable—more than any other medium including digital, mobile, streaming video and radio, April 2016 research revealed.

 

Media buying and selling software provider Strata surveyed 84 US ad agency professionals who were at the media director level or higher at agencies of varying sizes. When it came down to the advertising media their clients were most interested in, TV was the top choice.

 

Digital was second.

 

Nevertheless, no other medium can challenge TV’s dominance of the US advertising market. According to eMarketer, spending on every other medium combined, which includes print, radio and out-of-home, doesn’t come close.

Pharma Guy's insight:

That goes double for pharma. For more on that read “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z

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"Internet-Assisted" TV Pharma Drug Advertising

"Internet-Assisted" TV Pharma Drug Advertising | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

We know that consumers are tuning out Rx drug TV ads, are upset by escalating drug prices, and place very little trust in the pharmaceutical industry. So, one might be curious as to why pharma TV ad spending is increasing by 21% this year, according to Kantar Media. Did you know that “nine Rx drugs are on pace to break $100 million worth of TV ad time” in 2016, according to Stat News?

Clearly, this last fact illustrates that broadcast TV advertising is still the best medium to drive awareness quickly to the widest possible audience demographic when marketing an Rx drug in the United States. 

Another big reason TV advertising is still a key sales driver for pharma is the Internet. The vast majority of people exposed to a prescription drug TV ad that may be relevant to them will use the Internet first and foremost to get questions answered about a treatment before asking their doctor. 

This “Internet-assist” can be beneficial to pharmaceutical marketers because it provides them with a platform beyond the TV screen to continue driving people to learn about a drug and provide condition education so they can have more informed conversations with their physician about a relevant treatment that a 60-second spot can never accomplish.

Although consumers have expressed disdain for pharmaceutical TV advertising, the channel still yields effective returns for pharma marketers as long as TV remains the “first screen” in people’s lives. Hence, DTC Rx TV is, and should remain, an important part of pharma marketers advertising toolkit for reaching consumers.  

Pharma Guy's insight:

Hmmm... this is an interesting defense of pharma's extraordinary TV ad spend budget. Not sure I buy it. Read a critique of this notion here: “Pharma Marketers Spend Too Much on TV Because of the ‘Fame & Glory’ It Brings”; http://sco.lt/7bmTMf

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Abbie on a Humira TV Ad Spending Spree in Anticipation of Biosimilar Competition

Abbie on a Humira TV Ad Spending Spree in Anticipation of Biosimilar Competition | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Amid projections and prognostications of overall pharma ad spending increases for 2016, iSpot.tv’s ad tracking numbers for May bear that out, with AbbVie’s ($ABBV) Humira leading the charge. AbbVie spent more than $25 million on Humira TV ads in May, bringing the drug’s TV spending total to $118 million for the year. That means AbbVie has already topped its full-year 2015 TV ad spending of $98.6 million.

Humira has been running nine ads since January, spread thematically across its three FDA-approved indications for arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, with the most, a total of $60.9 million, spent on placing its 5 TV ads for arthritis, according to iSpot.tv data.

The TV spend reflects Humira’s importance to AbbVie; it brought in $8.4 billion in sales last year and accounted for 62% of the company’s total revenue. Humira revenue for the first quarter of 2016 was $2.2 billion. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that AbbVie raised the price of Humira 8 times in the past three years, increasing its price 73% to about $49,000 a year before discounts.

Pending competition for Humira may also be spurring TV advertising, with AbbVie estimating its first biologic competitors coming to market in Europe in 2018.

Pharma Guy's insight:

2016 is shaping up to be even a better banner year for DTC than 2015! For updated 2015 spending numbers, read  “Pharma Drug Ads: A Glass Half Empty is a Glass Half Full”; http://sco.lt/8jF4Qj 

 

Also read: “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z

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TV ads remain most impactful advertising channel

TV ads remain most impactful advertising channel | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
GWI tracks 20+ brand discovery channels across our 34 different markets, with this week’s first chart showing that TV ads remain the most powerful among them.
Pharma Guy's insight:

Pharma knows this: "TV DTC Advertising Is Not Dead Yet!"; http://sco.lt/701QtF 

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TV Drug Ad Targets Blind People - Whaaa?!

TV Drug Ad Targets Blind People - Whaaa?! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Vanda Pharmaceuticals has bought more than $29 million worth of air time in the past two years for a TV ad blitz aimed at raising awareness of a rare sleep disorder for which Vanda makes the only approved drug.

 

The ad campaign ranks in the top-50 most expensive TV promotions for prescription drugs over the past two years, according to the media research firm iSpot.tv. It’s part of a surge in ads meant to raise awareness of conditions that affect small patient populations — and the pricey drugs that treat them.

 

Vanda’s drug, sold as Hetlioz, costs $148,000 a year, 76 percent more than when it was first introduced in 2014, according to the research firm Truven Health Analytics. Fewer than 1,000 patients in the United States take the drug, which is aimed at completely blind people with the disorder.

 

So why did Vanda turn to the TV airwaves?

 

Non-24 sleep-wake disorder, often called “non-24,” is a circadian rhythm disorder in which the body clock is out of sync with the 24-hour cycle of night and day. It’s believed to affect tens of thousands of the more than 100,000 people in the US who are completely blind (and therefore unable to perceive the light changes that would normally regulate their sleep patterns), as well as a small number of people who can see. People with the disorder suffer from drowsiness that may cause them to miss work and school.

 

Jim Kelly, Vanda’s chief financial officer, said the idea to run TV ads came from focus groups with blind people.

 

Produced by the agency Merkley+Partners, the Vanda ad featuring the blind woman at home never mentions Hetlioz. A male narrator urges the audience to talk to a doctor about symptoms and provides a phone number and website run by Vanda offering resources about the disorder. “Don’t let non-24 get in the way of your pursuit of happiness,” the woman implores her audience in the ad’s closing moments.

 

Many blind people listen to TV shows and movies with the help of special technology that narrates action on the screen for them. But the tech isn’t used for TV ads, including Vanda’s. That leaves blind people to rely on sighted family and friends in the room, if they’re available, to narrate what’s going on on-screen.

 

Did it work?

 

The company sure thinks so. On an earnings call with investors on Wednesday, Vanda CEO Dr. Mihael Polymeropoulos cited contact with patients prompted by the ad campaign as “the main driver” of new demand for Hetlioz.

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Where on TV Do the Top 20 #Pharma Brands Spend a Lot on Advertising?

Where on TV Do the Top 20 #Pharma Brands Spend a Lot on Advertising? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The advertisers of the top 20 best-selling drugs directed two-thirds of their TV ad spending last year on just four networks — broadcast titans CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.

“People talk a lot about how television viewership is eroding, and traditional media is fading, and that is all true. But the decline is very slow, and so there are still big audiences. And if you’re a pharma company, and you want to reach a lot of people quickly … there’s really no better place to go still than the traditional networks,” said Timothy Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

It also helps that these viewers are getting older and older — and, thus, presumably more receptive to pitches for drugs to treat ailments like arthritis and erectile dysfunction. It’s likely no coincidence that CBS drew the most advertising dollars last year; the age of its median viewer in 2014 was nearly 59.

The makers of the top 20 best-selling prescription drugs bought a collective $29 million worth of ads on the History Channel last year. And $12 million on the Food Network. And $8 million on Animal Planet, according to Kantar data.

Spending on cable TV ads for the top eight best-selling prescription drugs has more than doubled in the past decade, according to Kantar data. It’s risen at a faster rate over that period than spending on network TV.

Pharma Guy's insight:

“Pharma companies know who they’re going after,” Calkins said, “and they really focus on reaching those people.” Really? So you're saying that Fox TV, which is a minor channel for DTC ads, does not have a viewership primed for the top 20 selling drugs? 

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Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek's curator insight, March 9, 2016 8:12 AM

“Pharma companies know who they’re going after,” Calkins said, “and they really focus on reaching those people.” Really? So you're saying that Fox TV, which is a minor channel for DTC ads, does not have a viewership primed for the top 20 selling drugs? 

eMedToday's curator insight, March 9, 2016 9:38 PM

“Pharma companies know who they’re going after,” Calkins said, “and they really focus on reaching those people.” Really? So you're saying that Fox TV, which is a minor channel for DTC ads, does not have a viewership primed for the top 20 selling drugs? 

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The End of Pharma TV? Not Likely! But Consider a Partial Ban

The End of Pharma TV? Not Likely! But Consider a Partial Ban | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In a recent 30 minute network “news” program, I counted 21 commercials/promos, half of which were for prescription drugs, most with computer-generated names that include Xs and Zs, aimed primarily at the AARP/Medicare generations, the largest consumers of these drugs (and the only ones who still consistently watch network evening news programs). Most popular magazines — yeah, there are still a diehard few who actually buy print media — contain multi-page ads for these drugs.

 

The ads, which mostly feature happy seniors leisurely riding in vintage autos or walking/biking/dining/boating/taking photos in bucolic, sun-dappled settings (except when playing lovey-dovey in adjacent bathtubs), with the injunction to “talk to your doctor to see if (fill in the name) is right for you,” have proliferated like amoeba since restrictions on drug ads were removed by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 (the U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries that now allow direct marketing of prescription drugs). Pharmaceutical company profits have soared as a result of the ad barrage.

 

In 2014, the companies spent $4.53 billion on ads for prescription drugs. But that pales in comparison to the $24 billion they spent in 2014 on campaigns aimed directly as physicians, many of whom get hundreds of thousands of dollars from the companies in “speaking fees,” meals, gifts, and other perks.

 

The American Medical Association, to its credit, has asked the federal government to ban these direct marketing ads. Citing “a growing concern” among physicians about the negative impact of these constant promotions directly to the pubic, it says, “A growing proliferation of ads is driving demand for expensive treatments despite the clinical effectiveness of less costly alternatives.”

 

Given that Big Pharma is, year-in year-out, the top spender on lobbying members of Congress, and that legal challenges would certainly follow any ban of the TV ads, the AMA request has about as much chance of passage as the proverbial snowball in Hades.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I once said that banning DTC advertising is about as likely as Donald Trump being elected president. You know where that's going! 

 

What I propose is an experiment. Let's eliminate TV broadcast DTC advertising of brandname drugs altogether for one year, but keep print and Internet-based DTC advertising. That is, no broadcast DTC for ANY drug, new or old.

Drug companies could pocket the money saved or spend it on print and Web promotions or on disease awareness TV ads, which are not a target of DTC critics in Congress and elsewhere.

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Giuseppe Fattori's curator insight, March 1, 2016 4:48 PM

I once said that banning DTC advertising is about as likely as Donald Trump being elected president. You know where that's going! 

 

What I propose is an experiment. Let's eliminate TV broadcast DTC advertising of brandname drugs altogether for one year, but keep print and Internet-based DTC advertising. That is, no broadcast DTC for ANY drug, new or old.

Drug companies could pocket the money saved or spend it on print and Web promotions or on disease awareness TV ads, which are not a target of DTC critics in Congress and elsewhere.

eMedToday's curator insight, March 1, 2016 10:33 PM

I once said that banning DTC advertising is about as likely as Donald Trump being elected president. You know where that's going! 

 

What I propose is an experiment. Let's eliminate TV broadcast DTC advertising of brandname drugs altogether for one year, but keep print and Internet-based DTC advertising. That is, no broadcast DTC for ANY drug, new or old.

Drug companies could pocket the money saved or spend it on print and Web promotions or on disease awareness TV ads, which are not a target of DTC critics in Congress and elsewhere.

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Big Pharma Spending Money on TV Ads Like a Even More Drunk Sailor!

Big Pharma Spending Money on TV Ads Like a Even More Drunk Sailor! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

With one month still to go, 2017 is already a record-breaking year for pharma advertising. TV ad spending totaled $3.2 billion through the end of November, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv. That’s well ahead of the full-year 2016 TV spend of $3.11 billion.

 

The record comes even after a fairly low spending month in November when the top 10 pharma brands spent just $159 million on TV ads, a big drop from $199 million spent in October.

 

For November, AbbVie’s Humira was in its usual top position, although its spending dropped by more than $10 million from October. Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's anticoagulant Eliquis rejoined the spending list at No. 2, followed by Novo Nordisk’s Victoza and Pfizer’s Xeljanz in the same positions as the previous month, but with lowered spending for both.

 

Joining the top 10 spenders for the month was Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13, which debuted a new TV commercial in October and has been ramping up spending since then.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

According to Kantar Media, pharma spending on TV ads in 2016 was $4.1 Bn. iSpot.tv, however, says it was $3.11. I'm not which is closer to the truth, but it's the trend that matters here, I suppose.

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Will You Miss Those ED DTC TV Ads When Viagra & Cialis Go Generic? John LaMattina Will

Will You Miss Those ED DTC TV Ads When Viagra & Cialis Go Generic? John LaMattina Will | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

[LaMattina, a former Pfizer Executive says...] Proprietary drugs have a limited patent life, and each year dozens of big drugs lose patent protection. As a result, generic competition kicks in for these drugs, their prices drop precipitously and the originating companies lose billions of dollars in revenues. But, that’s the nature of this business.

 

Eric Sagonowsky of FiercePharma recently published an article outlining the top 10 patent losses for 2017. Leading his list is Copaxone, an MS drug with $3.48 billion in sales last year. But right behind Copaxone on the list are two very familiar drugs, Lilly’s Cialis and Pfizer’s Viagra, both billion-dollar sellers in the U.S. Sagonowsky goes on to talk about the impact of generic competition on each company’s bottom line, which will be very substantial.

 

But he fails to note the resulting societal impact that the loss of exclusivity for these erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs will have. Once generic competition occurs for a brand name drug, companies generally will stop direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) for its medication. Why promote a brand name drug in the face of generics? You would just help drive sales of the cheaper generic forms. A company’s DTC budget is better spent on drugs that still have exclusivity.

 

However, the impact on society for the loss of erectile dysfunction TV ads is unappreciated. No longer will fathers have the educational opportunity to answer the inevitable question by their 10-year-old daughters that arises during Sunday NFL games: “Daddy, what’s erectile dysfunction?” The subtle reminders of the importance of good hygiene, now promoted by the Cialis commercials with couples in separate bathtubs, will be lost. And how much will U.S.-UK relations be harmed by not having the attractive British woman laying on a bed talking to her American male friends about the importance of being prepared? Yes, these ads will be missed in many ways.

Pharma Guy's insight:

LaMattina, however, suggests that the animated pink intestine that Crooked Valeant uses to promote its drug for irritable bowel syndrome will still be around for many years. That’s why I included “Bubble Guts” in my gallery of mascots: http://bit.ly/pmbmascots

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Drug DTC TV Ad Actors Also Get Gigs at Medical Conferences

Drug DTC TV Ad Actors Also Get Gigs at Medical Conferences | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Ilana Becker can barely go a day without someone asking her, "'You're the girl with the stomach, right?' "

 

Many actors are known for their signature roles. In Ms. Becker's case, that role is of a dysfunctional digestive system. She plays Irritabelle, that adorably annoying redhead in tights in Arnold Worldwide's campaign for Allergan's Viberzi, a prescription drug to treat IBS-D, or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (read “’Irritabelle,’ The Viberzi Irritable Sidekick”).

 

In the cottage industry of voice and commercial actors who play diseases and afflicted citizens in healthcare and pharma ads, there are a host of actors who welcome the chance to embrace the quirkiness.

 

Take, for example, Roger L. Jackson, the voice of Mr. Mucus. Mr. Jackson originated the voice and personality of the wiseguy ball of phlegm back in 2004, when the ads were handled in-house by then-owner Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, which later sold to RB.

 

The new Mr. Mucus with attitude is housed at McCann New York and voiced by comedian and "Silicon Valley" actor T.J. Miller. His Mr. Mucus is more sardonic hipster than tough-guy gangster, reading "sick tweets" or asking a restaurant patron "Is that a bisque?"

 

The pharma industry spent $5.6 billion on paid media in 2015, according to Kantar Media. And while it's not the top-spending industry—that would be categories like consumer packaged goods, telecom and automotive—pharma does spend disproportionately on TV advertising. Estimates put pharma TV spending at 60% to 70% of its total outlay.

 

Paul Guyet, who's been doing voice-over work since 2003, is a pharmaceutical commercial veteran. He's the current voice for Boehringer Ingelheim's heartburn medicine character Captain Zantac, created by independent agency Jomo and animators Aardman Animations, and was also one of the talking grocery store fish in AstraZeneca's "Take It From a Fish" digital video campaign that won a Cannes Grand Prix for the pharma category for Digitas LBi in 2015 (read “Like 3-Day Old Fish, #LionsHealth Grand Prix Prize Stinks!”).

 

In "Take It From a Fish," Mr. Guyet's piscine character, Sal, who is lying in a bed of ice in a grocery store case with his pal Marty, says that Martin Scorsese called him and wants him to be in his next film. Marty says, "Really, when's that filming?" Sal says in six months. Marty deadpans, "Yeah, don't think you're gonna be available."

 

Ms. Becker, who also does personal appearances at gastroenterology conferences for Allergan, said, "GI doctors are the best, they have such a great sense of humor. If someone watching is less embarrassed and more encouraged to live out loud, that makes me feel great."

Pharma Guy's insight:

Also see "Gallery of Drug Advertising Mascots"; http://bit.ly/mascotgallery

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Pfizer’s Latest Viagra TV Ad Pitches Discounts vai Mobile Texting

Pfizer’s Latest Viagra TV Ad Pitches Discounts vai Mobile Texting | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The same way they do to vote for a favorite singer on “The Voice,” consumers can now text Pfizer for a discount on erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. In what seems to be a first for a pharma company, Pfizer’s new TV commercial for Viagra encourages patients to text a keyword from their mobile phones to receive special discounts.

In typical Viagra direct-marketing style, it’s not a soft-sell message tacked on at the end of the ad. The ad opens with the now-familiar woman in a dark blue dress who asks, “Guys, want to save 50% on a yearlong supply of Viagra for ED?” A mobile phone close-up then takes over the screen with the promotion and text keyword “VSAVE,” and she explains in voice-over how to get the discount. 

Pfizer declined to comment on the promotion, with a spokesman citing, via email, “a policy against sharing competitive information.”

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Direct-to-Consumer TV Drug Ads Are Effective After All! 

Direct-to-Consumer TV Drug Ads Are Effective After All!  | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

DTC TV ads are effective in driving awareness of new Rx products, but to sustain growth marketers need to think multi-channel and measure key product messages with their target audience.

 

Just how effective are TV ads when it comes to prescription drugs? The answer is very effective in generating awareness which leads patients to search for more information.

 

Of course drug.com websites are used by people to get more information, but drug websites don’t answer all of the questions patients have about taking medications.

 

Recently my group did an analysis of prescription drug launches, TV vs. no TV. We found that brands who did not use TV failed to meet first years sales projections by as much as 60%. Brands who used heavy up TV and had a poor online website (low time on site, high bounce rates) failed to meet sales projections by as much 40%.

 

What does this tell us? Find out here.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Why is pharma TV ad spending increasing by 21% this year, according to Kantar Media? “Because DTC marketers don’t know any better might be the best answer,” said Rich Myer, author of World of DTC Marketing Blog (read “Pharma Marketers Spend Too Much on TV Because of the ‘Fame & Glory’ It Brings”; http://sco.lt/7bmTMf)

 

But perhaps Bob Ehrlich, Chairman of DTC Perspectives is right to run an industry conference solely on tv and print this fall. For more abou that, read “DTC National Sees No Future in Digital or Social or Mobile & Will Focus Solely on TV & Print Ads”; http://sco.lt/4o235F

 

Also read: “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z and “Ad Agency Clients Are Most Interested in Advertising on TV”; http://sco.lt/8Bv43l

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In July #Pharma Spent Money on TV Advertising Like There Was No Tomorrow!

In July #Pharma Spent Money on TV Advertising Like There Was No Tomorrow! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pharma marketers must have missed the memo about the dog days of summer. TV spending by the top 10 pharma advertisers topped $140 million, making the total for July the highest since January, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

 

Disease awareness campaigns were prominent last month, with two marketers debuting in the top 10 group. Merck, which began a campaign to promote the importance of HPV vaccinations in June, landed at No. 7, spending $9.9 million split between that HPV ad and an ongoing campaign aimed at encouraging shingles vaccinations for older people. Merck markets Gardasil for HPV and Zostavax for shingles.

 

Mylan bowed at No. 9 with the second disease awareness campaign, spending a combined $8.5 million on TV ads for the month. It ran its May-debuted “Face Your Risk” peanut allergy awareness ad, along with another long-running and more general allergic reaction awareness TV spot. Mylan markets EpiPen autoinjectors to treat severe allergic reactions.

 

Among branded advertising, AbbVie’s Humira continued in the No. 1 spot for July with spending of $34.5 million, spread across seven different TV ads for three different FDA-approved indications.

 

July was also a big month for diabetes marketers on TV, with total spending of $64 million on TV ads for the month. That category was led by Pfizer’s Lyrica, which maintained the No. 2 spender spot for the third month in a row.

 

More details here.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Also read: “Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor”; http://sco.lt/8epI6z and “Ad Agency Clients Are Most Interested in Advertising on TV”; http://sco.lt/8Bv43l

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Pharma Marketers Spend Too Much on TV Because of the "Fame & Glory" It Brings

Pharma Marketers Spend Too Much on TV Because of the "Fame & Glory" It Brings | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

According to Media Post “clearly broadcast TV advertising is still the best medium to drive awareness quickly to the widest possible audience demographic when marketing an Rx drug in the United States” (Read "’Internet-Assisted’ TV Pharma Drug Advertising”; http://sco.lt/628ScT). They could not be more wrong and the author is naive about why when it comes to choosing TV over online.

 

According to a 2016 STAT-Harvard poll, only 7% of consumer respondents were motivated to talk to their physician about a prescription drug they saw on TV, down from 21% in 2015. The poll also indicated that 57% of U.S. adults support ending Rx drug TV advertising.

 

Why is pharma TV ad spending increasing by 21% this year, according to Kantar Media?

 

Because DTC marketers don’t know any better might be the best answer.

 

TV is easier to do than Internet marketing. With TV you develop a creative brief, film a spot, develop a media plan and then say “look what I did!”. Online marketing, especially today, requires more thought, development and dollars. DTC marketers are in love with TV; they always have been and always will be because that’s where fame and glory are.

 

I continue to hear about clients who biggest part of the budget pie is TV. Some of the blame belongs to their agencies who direct them towards TV, but a lot of blame belongs to inexperienced DTC marketers who just don’t get it.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Many pharma marketing experts wonder why pharmaceutical marketers spend approximately 70% of their DTC advertising budgets on expensive TV advertising when they might get better bang for their bucks advertising through other channels such as the Internet. 

Whether or not you agree with that, there's one indisputable factor about TV advertising to consider: the opportunity for brand managers to play at being directors, mingle with the stars, and even to have a "cameo" part in the production. Read, for example, “Are You Serious? A Good Example of Why Pharma Brand Managers ‘Love Its’ TV”; http://bit.ly/hzv99f

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Everywoman Betty and Everyman Freddy are Tresiba Ready! Until Side Effects in AD Pop Up!

Everywoman Betty and Everyman Freddy are Tresiba Ready! Until Side Effects in AD Pop Up! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

After setting out to get their blood sugar under control and trim their A1C, Betty the waitress, Freddy the barber and Eddy the delivery man all decide that they're Tresiba-ready.

 

View the ad here and you too will get the refrain stuck in your head!

Pharma Guy's insight:

I hate the "Trisiba Ready" refrain sung in the background over and over again! I can't get it out of my head! Damn!

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Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor

Big Pharma Spending on TV Ads Like a Drunken Sailor | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

And the spend goes on. The latest pharma ad news is from Morgan Stanley, which notes pharma companies are leading the way in a national TV spending upswing.

 

The pharma category is up 20% in TV spending so far, after increasing by 20% in 2015, according to the research note reported by Yahoo. Overall, TV ad spend increased by 6.4% and 5.3% in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, respectively.

 

However, it’s not a new conclusion. Pharma ad spending overall has been resurging for the past several years, and reached $5.4 billion last year, tying the previous record set in 2006, as tracked by Kantar Media. Pharma companies spend the largest percentage of their ad budgets on TV, often more than two-thirds in the case of the top TV drug ad spenders.

 

Data from realtime TV tracker iSpot.tv also showed TV spending up with big jumps in January and February over previous months among the pharma top 10 spenders.

 

The recent plethora of pharma TV ad spending prompted WPP’s ad buying unit Group M chief investment officer, Rino Scanzoni, to tell the Wall Street Journal in April, “Pharmaceutical companies have been spending money like drunken sailors.”

 

The Yahoo coverage of the Morgan Stanley note claims the TV ad growth is evidence that digital spending is shifting back to TV. The WSJ story quoted sources saying consumer giant Procter & Gamble was moving some digital money back into TV, and where that CPG bellwether goes, others are bound to follow. However, it should be noted the economy is also a factor, with ad spending tending to rise in general as economic fortunes go up.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Also read: "TV DTC Advertising Is Not Dead Yet!"; http://bit.ly/TV-DTC-LinkedIn 

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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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Advertising Expert Says #Pharma Needs to Up Its Spending on Digital to Compliment Its TV Spend

Advertising Expert Says #Pharma Needs to Up Its Spending on Digital to Compliment Its TV Spend | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

"If you're only buying television, you should buy television plus digital which will actually create an exponential effect," Gayle Fuguitt, CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation, said, adding, "If you look at how fast consumers' consumption of advertising across all these platforms has changed, the fact that advertising spending is only increasing 4% (annually) isn't really keeping up with the pace of change of consumer consumption."

 

"For lower involvement categories like CPG, there is a pretty set standard response to social media. But what we find that in terms of search or social media--not banner ads, but more engaging communications--consumers spend much more time in categories like pharma, financial services, health and wellness and entertainment," Fuguitt said, adding, "What that leads to is a much higher ROI for those industries in certain formats in online media."

 

Well-targeted and carefully planned media buying was found to be important, as Fuguitt noted in the 60% ROI gain for good buys. While adding more advertising platforms was found to be definitively more effective, simply placing more of the same ads--that is, just increasing frequency--had the opposite effect.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Pharma spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in the U.S. totaled $5.2 billion in 2015 compared to $4.3 billion in 2014 -- a 15% increase. Nearly 70% of that was spent on TV. Read "TV DTC Advertising Is Not Dead Yet!"; http://sco.lt/701QtF 

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Sunnie Southern's curator insight, March 22, 2016 5:03 PM

Pharma spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in the U.S. totaled $5.2 billion in 2015 compared to $4.3 billion in 2014 -- a 15% increase. Nearly 70% of that was spent on TV. Read "TV DTC Advertising Is Not Dead Yet!"; http://sco.lt/701QtF ;

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Annual Spending on DTC Advertising Nearly at an All-Time High

Annual Spending on DTC Advertising Nearly at an All-Time High | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

[See another estimate of DTC spending in 2015 by Kantar Media here.]

 

According to Nielsen, pharma industry spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising totaled $5.2 billion in 2015 compared to $4.3 billion in 2014 - a 15% increase. This is close to the high mark of $5.4 billion spent in 2006 (see chart below).

Spending Data from Nielsen, Drug Approval Data from FDA.
It hardly takes a genius to realize that when FDA approves more drugs for marketing, more marketing happens. I plotted the number of new drugs (New Molecular Entities plus Biologics) approved by the FDA in an overlay to see if there was a direct correlation. Generally, I'd say there is a correlation if you allow for a delay in approval until advertising begins. Other factors, however, such as patent expiration, competition, etc., also play a role in determining DTC advertising budgets

There was one other piece of data that surprised me. More...

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