AbbVie's Humira still leads pharma’s TV ad spending, but new ads for Aimovig, Mavyret and Truvada pop in November

TV watcher image
TV viewers saw new pharma TV ads in November from a crop of brands new to the market. (3dman_eu/CC0 Creative Commons)

Welcome, new pharma TV spenders. It’s been a while since the monthly top 10 list saw a majority of different brands from the previous month, but that’s exactly what happened in November, including an emerging group of TV ad spenders.

There were only three returnees—AbbVie's Humira, Sunovion's Latuda and Pfizer's Xeljanz—while newcomers Truvada from Gilead, Aimovig from Amgen and Novartis and Mavyret from AbbVie took over the middle of the list of spending data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv. Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 returned to the list with its annual seasonal buy, joining the others that returned as well in brisk November spending.

Gilead HIV and PrEP drug Truvada was not a brand-new addition, having also made the list in September after the summer debut of new TV work that focuses on its indication for preventative use. AbbVie’s hepatitis C treatment Mavyret began its first campaign in mid-October, while Amgen and Novartis' first-in-class migraine drug Aimovig also launched TV ads in October under its “I am Here” theme.

Dropping out of sight for the second month in a row was Pfizer’s Lyrica, once a steady top-10 pharma TV ad finisher. The drug, which is facing patent expiration, spent just $1.7 million on TV ads in October, down more than half from what was already a low $3.8 million in October. Both months are a steep decline from the give-or-take $20 million-per-month Lyrica has typically spent.

Overall, TV ad spending by pharma’s top 10 was $145 million, down from October’s $164 million but ahead of $139 million for September.

1. Humira
Movement:
Stayed the same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $24.8 million (down from $40.4 million in October)
Number of spots: Seven (two for arthritis, three for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, two for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “The Clock is Ticking” for arthritis (est. $8.9 million)

2. Prevnar 13
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Pfizer's pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine
Total estimated spending: $18.1 million  
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Don’t Miss Out on Life” (est. $12.4 million)



3. Latuda
Movement:
Moved up from No. 10
What is it? Sunovion Pharmaceutical antipsychotic
Total estimated spending: $15.1 million (up from $12.2 million in October)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Lauren’s Story”



4. Eliquis
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $14.6 million  
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “What’s Next?” (est. $7.7 million)


5. Xeljanz
Movement:
Down from No. 3
What is it? Pfizer oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending: $14.4 million (down from $19.9 million in October)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Needles” (est. $7.2 million)


6. Trulicity
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $13.7 million  
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “I Can Do More” (est. $6.7 million)



7. Truvada
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Gilead’s HIV and PrEP drug
Total estimated spending: $13.3 million  
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “On the Pill”



8. Aimovig
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Amgen and Novartis next-gen migraine drug
Total estimated spending: $12.2 million  
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “I Am Here” (est. $8.1 million)



9. Mavyret
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? AbbVie hepatitis C treatment
Total estimated spending: $9.8 million  
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “In Only Eight Weeks”


10. Otezla
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Celgene's oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $9.3 million  
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Little Things” (est. $5.5 million)

(Not available by request of advertiser.)

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