Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 DTC Not Effective with “Baby Boomers” Who Are Doing All They Can to Avoid Its Side Effects | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

When Pfizer was gearing up to launch Prevnar 13 in adults age 50 and over, it faced a few unique challenges.


[Guess first two.]


And third? The adults Pfizer was targeting—baby boomers—felt “invincible,” she said. “To them, age is a mindset, not a number. I think many of the adults in our cohort felt like they’re doing everything possible to stay healthy ... they’re not going to get pneumonia ... that’s for older adults.”


So instead of trying to convince them otherwise, the pharma giant “leaned into that” mindset. “We knew in order to break through to this audience, we needed to empower them and not scare them,” Christa Albeck, senior product manager at Pfizer Vaccines, explained.


The result was “One Step,” a spot that featured healthy adults getting one Prevnar shot between doing a single yoga pose and eating a single blueberry. It emphasized “the notion of one and done” to people who were “otherwise primarily healthy,” Post said. In terms of staying healthy, for Pfizer’s target consumers, “Prevnar 13 was an option that was relatively simple compared with the other things they were doing,” Albeck added.


In the meantime, though, sales of the blockbuster shot are suffering against its previous numbers. In last year's fourth quarter, Prevnar fell significantly short of Wall Street estimates; its $1.41 billion haul came in 25% below 2015's $1.86 billion tally (read “Vaccine Business is Very, Very Good for #Pharma, Especially Pfizer!”;


In 2015, the vaccine enjoyed a “high initial capture rate of the eligible population," Pfizer said in a statement in January, leaving less “catch-up opportunity” for 2016 and beyond.


[Meanwhile, Gilead has another strategy to deal with those "pesky" baby boomers. Interestingly, Gilead pictures them lunging around the forest like lazy sloths rather than  exercising in gyms and yoga classes! Read: “Gilead’s New Hep C TV Campaign Urges Baby Boomers to Get Off Their Butts & Get Tested”]