AbbVie's Humira repeats, joined by BMS' Opdivo in leading TV spending for October

October's top 10 biggest spenders on pharma TV advertising dropped just over $110 million to promote prescription drugs last month. That compares with $92.2 million spent by the top 10 in September, an increase of about 20% month over month, according to data from real-time TV tracker iSpot.tv, which custom crunches the monthly pharma numbers for FiercePharmaMarketing.

New to the chart in October is Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) cancer fighter Opdivo, which launched its first-ever TV campaign in late September. The PD-1 immuno-oncology drug came in at No. 3 with $12.6 million spent on airings of its "Longer Life" spot.

Humira kept the No.1 slot, but at a price. AbbVie ($ABBV) went from spending $13.9 million in September to $21.1 million in October, also bumping up the number of ads in circulation from 6 to 7. Humira continues to be a blockbuster for AbbVie--recent third-quarter results showed $2.2 billion in Humira sales for those three months--but the specter of patent expiration and threat of biosimilars looms over the anti-inflammatory treatment.

Along with Humira and Opdivo, Merck's ($MRK) sleep aid Belsomra was a big mover in October, albeit in the opposite direction. Belsomra dropped out of the top 10, from the No. 2 spot in September, as its $13.4 million in spending decreased by more than half to about $5 million, all spent on its now-recognizable furry word-pets TV ad. Pfizer's ($PFE) Humira competitor Xeljanz, meanwhile, bumped up spending in October to join the top 10 with $9.5 million spent on an ongoing TV campaign for the oral med. -- Beth Snyder Bulik (email)


1. Humira
Last month: No. 1
AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $21.1 million
# of spots: 7
Ad with the biggest spend: Food Drive
Estimated spend on that ad: $4.7 million
Total airings for 7 ads: 6,817
Primetime airings for 7 ads: 1,555
% of industry spend: 5.32


2. Invokana
Last month: No. 3
Johnson & Johnson SGLT2 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $13.3 million
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: You're Not Alone
Estimated spend on that ad: $9.5 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 1,360
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 257
% of industry spend: 3.34


3. Opdivo
Last month: Not on list
Bristol-Myers Squibb PD-1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $12.6 million
# of spots: 1 -- Longer Life
Total airings: 1,235
Primetime airings: 253
% of industry spend: 3.17


4. Lyrica
Last month: No. 6
Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $11.7 million
# of spots: 6
Ad with the biggest spend: Fibromyalgia Set Backs
Estimated spend on that ad: $4.8 million
Total airings for 6 ads: 1,409
Primetime airings for 6 ads: 251
% of industry spend: 2.94


5. Xeljanz
Last month: Not in top 10
Pfizer rheumatoid arthritis drug
Total estimated spending: $9.5 million
# of spots: 1 -- Made for Better Things
Total airings: 1,024
Primetime airings: 267
% of industry spend: 2.39


6. Xifaxan
Last month: Not on list
Valeant IBS-D treatment
Total estimated spending: $9.4 million
# of spots: 1 -- You Know the Symptoms
Total airings: 2,093
Primetime airings: 530
% of industry spend: 2.46


7. Xarelto
Last month: No. 8
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $8.9 million
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: Game Plan
Estimated spend on that ad: $8.7 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 1,958
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 377
% of industry spend: 2.23


8. Latuda
Last month: No. 5
Sunovion antipsychotic drug
Total estimated spending: $8.3 million
# of spots: 1 -- Amy's Story
Total airings: 1,539
Primetime airings: 322
% of industry spend: 2.09


9. Eliquis
Last month: No. 4
Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $7.8 million
# of spots: 3
Ad with the biggest spend: Turn Around Your Thinking
Estimated spend on that ad: $4.3 million
Total airings for 3 ads: 1,697
Primetime airings for 3 ads: 452
% of industry spend: 1.97


10. Movantik
Last month: Not on list
AstraZeneca OIC constipation drug
Total estimated spending: $7.8 million
# of spots: 1 -- Opiod Baggage
Total airings: 1,535
Primetime airings: 405
% of industry spend: 1.96


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