AbbVie’s Humira, Pfizer’s Lyrica dominate a year of TV ad spend with almost $500M total

A year into tracking pharma TV ad spending with data provided by iSpot.tv, FiercePharmaMarketing is ready to declare a “winner.” No surprises here though: It’s AbbVie’s Humira.

AbbVie has dropped more than $288 million on Humira TV ads for the year we followed from September through the end of August, according to data from realtime TV ad tracker iSpot.

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That includes spending across its three indications for arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn's disease/colitis, with arthritis spending the highest at $144 million, or half of the total. Crohn’s and colitis spending were next at $104 million, followed by Humira’s indication for psoriasis at $40.3 million.

Other top TV spenders included Pfizer’s pain drug Lyrica at $193.2 million for the 12-month period; Eli Lilly’s erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis at $145.6 million; and Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s anticoagulant Eliquis at $140.2 million.

Looking only at August, Humira and Lyrica ranked first and second, respectively, with last month’s new entrant Pfizer’s Xeljanz staying at No. 3 on the strength of spending on a new TV ad that promotes the availability of Xeljanz XR once-daily pill.

TV pharma spending during the August Olympic Games helped boost the list this month, with several Summer Games’ advertisers making the top 10, including Novo Nordisk's GLP-1 diabetes treatment Victoza; Bayer and Johnson & Johnson anticoagulant Xarelto; and Lundbeck and Takeda's antidepressant Trintellix.

Media-besieged EpiPen maker Mylan, another Olympic Games advertiser, made the list at No. 9, although it stopped running its TV ads--an unbranded anaphylaxis awareness ad and branded EpiPen ads--at the end of August, likely because of the pricing controversy.

1. Humira
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $26.9M (down from $34.5 in July)
Number of spots: 6 (2 for arthritis, 2 for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, 2 for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: "Go Further” for arthritis (est. $8.1M)

2. Lyrica
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $26.2M (up from $19.6M in July)
Number of spots: 6
Biggest-ticket ad: "Keep the Beat Going" (est. $9.1M)

3. Xeljanz XR
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Pfizer’s second-line, oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending $21.9M (up from $15.9M in July)
Number of spots: 1
Ad: "Mother”

4. Xarelto
Movement: Not in top 10 last month
What is it? Bayer’s clot-fighter
Total estimated spending: $16.74M
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: “Jerry West in High Risk of Stroke” (est. $16.71M)

5. Victoza
Movement: Up from No. 8 last month
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 treatment
Total estimated spending: $13.9M (up from $8.9M in July)
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: "Dominique Wilkins in Moment of Truth” (est. $11.9M)

6. Eliquis
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $11.9M (up from $11M in July)
Number of spots: 3
Biggest-ticket ad: "DVT and PE Blood Clots" (est. $6.4M)

7. Trintellix
Movement: Not on top 10 list last month
What is it? Takeda and Lundbeck antidepressant
Total estimated spending: $10.7M
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: “More Than Sadness: Hers” (est. $5.4M)

8. Merck disease awareness ads (HPV vaccinations and shingles)
Movement: Down from No. 7 last month
What is it? Unbranded ads (Merck markets HPV vaccine Gardasil and shingles vaccine Zostavax)
Total estimated spending: $9.5M (down from $9.9M in July)
Number of spots: 4
Biggest-ticket ad: “HPV Vaccination” (est. $7.3M)

9. Mylan for unbranded disease awareness and branded EpiPen ads
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Unbranded for anaphylaxis awareness and branded for auto-injected epinephrine EpiPen
Total estimated spending: $8.4M (down from $8.5M in July)
Number of spots: 5
Biggest-ticket ad: “Allergic Reactions” (est. $4.8M)

10. Tresiba
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Novo Nordisk’s longer-acting insulin
Total estimated spending: $8.3M (down from $8.4M in July)
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: "Ready” (est. $6.7M)

Related Articles:
Rio Olympics end with big TV ad spending tallies, but pharma marketers finish in middle of pack
Mylan hunkers down amid EpiPen pricing storm
A silver lining to Mylan's EpiPen debacle? In the anaphylaxis awareness biz, absolutely
Pharma brings the heat in July as TV ad spending soars

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