AbbVie joins the migraine marketing flurry with a new Botox therapeutics campaign

Instagram has exposed users' passwords in a major security gaffe (Image Gerd Altmann under CC0)
AbbVie takes its latest Botox medical campaign to Instagram with influencer stories every Monday. (Gerd Altmann)(Gerd Altmann under CC0)

Suffering from migraine qualifies patients for a club no one wants to join. But, like most clubs, its members tend to seek advice from one another.

That’s the thinking behind AbbVie’s new social media campaign enlisting health influencers and the hashtag #ChronicMigraineMonday to reach more than 3 million Americans who live with chronic migraine. Every Monday during September, influencers like healthy living blogger Becca Ludlum will post on Instagram with their personal stories and motivation for seeking treatment.

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“Say No to Chronic Migraine Monday” encourages people to visit Botox’s chronic migraine website to find a headache specialist in their area. The effort is running in conjunction with Pain Awareness Month as declared by the American Chronic Pain Association.

AbbVie’s medical Botox was one of the first drugs approved to treat migraine. Since 2010, more than 2 million people have gotten botulinum toxin injections to seek migraine relief.

While Botox is the old guard treatment for chronic migraine, it isn’t approved for episodic or acute migraine like many of its newer competitors.

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Among the new chronic and episodic approved treatments, Teva’s Ajovy, Novartis’ Aimovig, Eli Lilly’s Emgality and Lundbeck’s Vyepti make up the CGRP inhibitor class that entered the market over the last two years. Novartis, Lilly and Teva have all run campaigns that include TV ads.

In the acute migraine field, two recent competitors—AbbVie’s own Ubrelvy and Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT—have entered the market with ad splashes. Each one hired famous celebrity spokespersons—tennis phenom Serena Williams for Ubrelvy and reality show and social media star Khloe Kardashian for Nurtec.

One possible reason for the avalanche of migraine marketing is that stress, in this case in the form of a global pandemic, often triggers migraines. Biohaven CEO Vlad Coric told Fierce Pharma last month that Nurtec’s marketing launch was accelerated for that reason.