Social Media Failed, DTC Advertising Failed. Now Biogen Tries Daytime Soap Celebrities to Boost Tecfidera Sales | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Biogen enlisted TV actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler in a new phase of a campaign for its multiple-sclerosis drug Tecfidera just months after it stopped running a DTC ad for the same drug.


The Reimagine MySelf campaign consists of a website and Biogen-hosted local events in Los Angeles and Houston, featuring its celebrity spokespeople.


Biogen ended its DTC campaign for Tecfidera in July, when executives said the campaign did not boost prescriptions for the drug. A former Biogen patient consultant had criticized the ad saying that it misrepresents the disease (read “Biogen Ends Controversial Tecfidera DTC TV Ads. Coincidently, CEO Steps Down”;


The Reimagine MySelf campaign originally launched on the health magazine Self's website in June 2015. The new phase of the campaign launched in September when Sigler joined as a paid spokesperson.


The site also features two other spokespeople for the campaign: Jeannie Mai from daytime TV show “The Real,” and chef Ben Ford. Sigler has written four blog posts on the website and said in her first post that she uses Tecfidera to treat her relapsing-remitting sclerosis. Sigler revealed in January that she had been diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago. A Biogen spokesperson confirmed she has been taking Tecfidera since December 2013.


Biogen has more than tripled its advertising spending for Tecfidera this year, doling out $62 million in the first half of 2016, while it spent just $17 million in the same six-month period last year, according to Kantar Media.


Tecfidera brought in U.S. sales of $1.5 billion for the first six months of 2016, compared to $1.3 billion in the same period in 2015. Biogen attributed the rise in Tecfidera's U.S. revenue to an increase in price.