AbbVie and Pfizer hover at top, J&J Stelara surges in August TV pharma ad spend

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AbbVie Humira and Pfizer Lyrica topped pharma TV spenders for month, while J&J Stelara got spendy with new Crohn's push.

In the final dog days of summer, even pharma ad spending was sluggish. August’s pharma TV ad spending the top 10 brands came in at $116 million—just above the year-to-date low of $115 million in June, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

AbbVie Humira stayed in the top spending spot although it decreased media by about $8 million, followed by Pfizer’s Lyrica, despite its own dip in spending for the month.

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New to the list was Johnson & Johnson’s Stelara, which started its first TV push for a new approval in Crohn’s disease, an addition to its current psoriasis indication. Novo Nordisk’s Victoza also found its way back onto the list with new work, launched in June, that maintains a similar look and feel with patients talking about A1C improvements.

Still, the laid-back summer spending hasn’t put a major damper on overall impact for the year: 2017 is still tracking ahead of 2016 with an estimated $2.45 billion in national TV ad spending so far, compared with $1.91 billion for the same time period last year.

1. Humira

Movement: Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $24.7 million (down from $32.9 million in July)
Number of spots: Seven (Three for arthritis, three for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, one for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Crohn's Symptom Relief” for Crohn’s (est. $6.7 million)

2. Lyrica

Movement: Up from No. 3
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $13.3 million (down from $14.4 million in July)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “More Active” (est. $5.8 million)

3. Breo

Movement: Up from No. 10
What is it? GlaxoSmithKline respiratory drug
Total estimated spending: $11.7 million (up from $8.8 million in July)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Busy Mom” (est. $6.2 million)

4. Eliquis

Movement: Up from No. 6
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb next-gen anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $10.9 million (up from $10.5 million in July)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “A lot on My Mind” (est. $5.1 million)

5. Stelara

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Johnson & Johnson anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $9.9 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest ticket ad: “Face Off”

6. Taltz

Movement: Down from No. 4
What is it? Eli Lilly next-gen psoriasis treatment
Total estimated spending: $11.2 million
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Completely Clear Skin” (est. $3.6 million)

7. Victoza

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 agonist
Total estimated spending: $9.2 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest ticket ad: “A Better Moment of Proof”

8. Xeljanz XR

Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Pfizer oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending: $9.1 million (same as July)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Birthday Puppy” (est. $4.6 million)

9. Cosentyx

Movement: Down from No. 7
What is it? Novartis next-gen psoriasis medication
Total estimated spending: $8.7 million (down from $10.1 million in July)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Clear Skin Can Last 2 featuring Cyndi Lauper”

10. Jardiance

Movement: Down from No. 8
What is it? Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim SGLT2 diabetes treatment
Total estimated spending: $8.7 million (down from $9.5 million in July)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Big News”