Eliquis partners BMS, Pfizer double down on heart health with renewed 'No Time to Wait' campaign

Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb are using this month of love to try to stop hearts breaking by getting together and reigniting an old flame.

The pair, which develops and sells the blockbuster blood thinner and atrial fibrillation (AF) drug Eliquis, is re-upping its 2020 “no time to wait” messaging.

The thrust of the revived No Time to Wait campaign is to get people with new heart issues, such as palpitations and shortness of breath, to see their doctors. Those symptoms can stem from AF and lead to greater risks of blood clots and strokes.

There’s a new No Time to Wait AFib TV ad, which first aired a few weeks back, and comes with a “surround sound campaign” in radio and digital media, Bristol Myers Squibb told Fierce Pharma Marketing. The radio push includes new ads that aim to reach more Hispanic and African American patients.

A new deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) commercial attached to the campaign made its debut Feb. 14, aka Valentines Day, when we all think about our hearts.

The aim is to get patients back into their doctors’ offices—and of course, if needed, be diagnosed with any relevant condition that may require them to take a blood thinner, such as Eliquis.

The clot fighter brings in more than $9 billion a year and has a sizable lead over warfarin alternative competitors, including Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Xarelto and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa.

RELATED: Eliquis partners BMS and Pfizer join the pharma crowd urging doctor visits during COVID-19

Eliquis originally went with a similar campaign back in late 2020. That iteration of No Time to Wait featured new TV ads—and it came at a time when many people had stopped seeing their primary care doctors because of the pandemic.

Why re-up it now? “We received so much positive feedback from patients and advocates on the impact this campaign had on patients, we knew it was our responsibility to continue to evolve the program and further get the message out,” a spokesperson from BMS said.

“In the middle of 2021, we decided to evolve the campaign, with new insight that symptomatic people at risk for AFib or DVT/PE can often dismiss their symptoms or misattribute them to other health and lifestyle factors," the spokesperson said.

Perceiving little risk, and hoping the issue will resolve itself, they do not reach out to their doctors.  This new phase of the campaign features two patients describing how they “didn’t wait” to talk to their doctors about the AFib or DVT/PE symptoms they experienced during everyday activities.

The alliance has spent $1.28 million on the TV ad, according to data from iSpot.tv, with 518 airings.  

Pfizer and BMS have also kept on the books four doctors from the initial campaign, including Andrea Russo, M.D. and Jenice Baker, M.D., who are featured in TV ads, radio ads, educational Facebook videos and on the campaign website.

Meanwhile, Eliscer Guzman, M.D., and Javier Perez Fernandez, M.D., continue as spokespeople in the Spanish language AFib and DVT/PE radio ads.

This new campaign also features English and Spanish language radio ads for AFib and DVT/PE general market audiences as well as a targeted DVT/PE radio ad for African American dominant stations.

“We wanted to get this important message out to a broad cross-section of the country, so developed creative materials to target the general population as well as reach additional audiences, including Hispanic and African American individuals,” BMS said.

The new campaign comes as COVID variants, most recently omicron, are still keeping some people from visiting their physicians.

Eliquis generics are also on the horizon, and though court battles have delayed much of that competition to around the middle of this decade, the pair clearly still want to make hay while the sun shines and bring it the maximum sales it can before copycats kill the party.

Check out the latest TV spot below.