BMS' Opdivo repeats, new flu ads join list of top pharma ad spending for November

'Tis the season--for pharma ad spending on seasonal illnesses. Two of the three new entrants to the Top 10 pharma TV spenders this month, compiled by iSpot.tv for FiercePharmaMarketing, are Roche's ($RHHBY) Tamiflu flu treatment at No. 5 and Pfizer's ($PFE) Prevnar 13 pneumonia vaccine at No. 8.

The third new player on the spender list is Celgene's ($CELG) Otezla to treat plaque psoriasis. The campaign is an ongoing one for the oral treatment, with just one spot that began this summer, but it's now hitting higher spending levels.

Amping up the TV ad push it began last month, Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) cancer fighter Opdivo took over the No. 1 spot from Humira, the AbbVie ($ABBV) anti-inflammatory med. Humira had held the position for the previous two months but dropped monthly spending by almost $6 million from October to November.

While direct-to-consumer marketing of cancer treatment drugs via TV commercial has been rare to date, that may change with the new PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies like Opdivo and its main competitor so far, Merck's ($MRK) Keytruda. As the next-gen cancer treatment market is set to get increasingly crowded, it could also result in more TV appeals to consumers.

In total, the Top 10 pharma brands spent about $114 million on TV ads for drugs in November, a slight increase over October's $110 million total, according to iSpot, which measures real-time TV ad metrics. -- Beth Snyder Bulik (email | Twitter)

1. Opdivo
Last month: No. 3
Bristol-Myers Squibb PD-1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $16.1 million (up from $12.6 million in October)
# of spots: 1 -- Longer Life
Total airings: 1,022
Primetime airings: 207
% of industry spend: 3.79


2. Humira
Last month: No. 1
AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $15.5 million (down from $21.1 million in October)
# of spots: 7
Ad with the biggest spend: Day at the Fair
Estimated spend on that ad: $3.43 million
Total airings for 7 ads: 6,409
Primetime airings for 7 ads: 1,417
% of industry spend: 3.66


3. Lyrica
Last month: No. 4
Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $15.1 million (up from $11.7 million in October)
# of spots: 6
Ad with the biggest spend: Grandpa
Estimated spend on that ad: $5.93 million
Total airings for 6 ads: 1,115
Primetime airings for 6 ads: 246
% of industry spend: 3.56


4. Invokana
Last month: No. 2
Johnson & Johnson SGLT2 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $13.1 million (down slightly from $13.3 million in October)
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: You're Not Alone
Estimated spend on that ad: $10.4 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 1,306
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 262
% of industry spend: 3.08


5. Tamiflu
Last month: Not on list
Roche's flu treatment
Total estimated spending: $12.9 million
# of spots: 3
Ad with the biggest spend: A Really Big Deal
Estimated spend on that ad: $7.11 million
Total airings for 3 ads: 2,193
Primetime airings for 3 ads: 412
% of industry spend: 3.05


6. Eliquis
Last month: No. 9
Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $11.1 million (up from $7.8 million in October)
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: Kayaker
Estimated spend on that ad: $6.37 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 1,652
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 462
% of industry spend: 2.61


7. Xeljanz
Last month: No. 5
Pfizer rheumatoid arthritis drug
Total estimated spending: $10.5 million (up from $9.5 million in October)
# of spots: 1 -- Made for Better Things
Total airings: 1,215
Primetime airings: 311
% of industry spend: 2.47


8. Prevnar 13
Last month: Not on list
Pfizer's pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine
Total estimated spending: $10.2 million
# of spots: 1 -- One Step
Total airings: 567
Primetime airings: 176
% of industry spend: 2.41


9. Otezla
Last month: Not on list
Celgene's oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $9.4 million
# of spots: 1 -- Show More of You
Total airings: 1,815
Primetime airings: 420
% of industry spend: 2.22


10. Xifaxan
Last month: No. 6
Valeant IBS-D treatment
Total estimated spending: $9.0 million (down from $9.4 million in October)
# of spots: 1 -- You Know the Symptoms
Total airings: 2,318
Primetime airings: 600
% of industry spend: 2.12


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