For its first Qbrexza ads, Dermira features real patients with severe sweating

Dermira awareness TV ad for hyperhydrosis
While Dermira launches its first branded campaign for Qbrexza today, it has been running awareness ads (still image shown above) for eight months. (Dermira)

Real patients share their before-and-after scenarios in Dermira’s first ad campaign for excessive sweating treatment Qbrexza.

Launching today, the campaign shows hyperhidrosis patients Kristen and Shawn coping with severe underarm sweating. In the "before" scenes, they avoid raising their arms at work and with friends, and "after," they're moving freely.

During the TV ad, each of them opens and shakes out a Qbrexza towel that becomes a mini viewing screen—and a window into how life changes after treatment, when they don’t avoid raising their arms all the time. Dubbed “Life Unfolds,” the campaign includes national TV, digital, social media and print ads and in-office materials. 

“It’s really in line with our mission at Dermira where we’re trying to be very patient-centric and patient-focused,” said Lori Lyons-Williams, chief commercial officer at Dermira. “Our main goal is creating an ad that’s really authentic and resonates with people who have hyperhidrosis.”

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Dermira tested five different concepts in qualitative and quantitative testing, and the ad now launching was one of those, albeit tweaked in response to focus group insights. Highlighting the unique form factor of the Qbrexza towel was important, as it resonated well with patients in testing, Lyons-Williams said. Other insights incorporated into the campaign were that hyperhidrosis is on patients’ minds all the time at work and in social situations, and that patients were generally hopeful to find a product that could work for them.

Dermira began an awareness campaign for the excessive underarm sweating condition in July called “Check Your Sweat.” It used actors, but showed real-life situations where hyperhidrosis holds sufferers back and how they compensate—keeping their arms low when hugging a friend, pinning them at their sides and even changing clothing to hide underarm wetness.

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Qbrexza launched in October as Dermira’s first FDA-approved treatment and now has 80% coverage with commercial insurers. The therapy is approved to treat axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating, but Dermira is looking to add additional indications for Qbrexza potentially for patients with excessive sweating of hands, feet or face. Its main competitor is botulinum toxin injections, where Allergan’s Botox is the market leader. However, while Botox has proven effective for hyperhidrosis, it’s had limited uptake in part because of the burden of injections and barriers to insurance coverage.