4 AbbVie brands land on pharma's top TV spenders list for September

TV
TV watchers saw lots of AbbVie ads for Humira, Skyrizi, Rinvoq and Ubrelvy last month. (islandjoe/CC BY 2.0)

Pharma TV advertising spiked in September, even without the usually ubiquitous football media to play it on.

The top 10 brands spent $182 million, the highest monthly total since January, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv. AbbVie’s Humira led the way as usual, but with an even bigger budget of $57.7 million, an increase of 45% over what the Illinois drugmaker spent on the product in August.

AbbVie drugs overall held four of the top spots, putting the company total at just under $90 million on national TV media for September. One of those ads, for acute migraine med Ubrelvy, was a first-timer on the list with two TV commercials featuring its new spokesperson—tennis star and migraine sufferer Serena Williams.

Bristol Myers Squibb also joined the list in September at the No. 3 spot with the debut of its Opdivo and Yervoy combination TV ad. BMS’ immuno-oncology pair nabbed a first-line approval to treat non-small cell lung cancer in May. The September-launched commercial touts it as the "first and only approved chemo-free combination of two immunotherapies" in the setting.

Overall, September spending among the top 10 was up 23% over August's $148 million, and it marked an even bigger jump over July spending of $136 million.

1. Humira
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie's anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $57.7 million (up from $39.9 million in August)
Number of spots: Eight (Two for citrate-free injection, two for arthritis/psoriasis, four for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's)
Biggest-ticket ad: “You Inspired Us: May Be Able to Help” (est. $26.6 million)


2. Dupixent
Movement:
Up from No. 5
What is it? Regeneron and Sanofi's atopic dermatitis and asthma treatment
Total estimated spending: $23.1 million (up from $21.9 million in August)
Number of spots: Three (Two for atopic dermatitis, one for asthma)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Du More: Backyards and Rain” (est. $10.4 million)


3. Opdivo and Yervoy
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Bristol Myers Squibb's dual-immunotherapy regimen
Total estimating spending: $22.7 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Combination Immunotherapy”


4. Descovy
Movement:
Down from No. 3
What is it? Gilead Sciences' next-gen PrEP HIV drug
Total estimated spending: $13.7 million (down from $13.7 million in August)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Prep Up”


5. Trulicity
Movement:
Down from No. 4
What is it? Eli Lilly's GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $12 million (down from $14.1 million in August)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Power: Day of Work: $25 Savings” (est. $7.7 million)


6. Skyrizi
Movement:
Up from No. 9
What is it? AbbVie's IL-23 next-gen psoriasis treatment
Total estimated spending: $11.3 million (up from $8.5 million in August)
Number of spots: Five
Biggest-ticket ad: “Feel Free to Bare Your Skin” (est. $4.9 million)


7. Rinvoq
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? AbbVie's JAK inhibitor to treat rheumatoid arthritis
Total estimated spending: $10.7 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Your Mission: Zip Line” (est. $9.9 million)


8. Jardiance
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim's SGLT2 diabetes treatment
Total estimated spending: $10.4 million
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Community Garden” (est. $5.5 million)


9. Enbrel
Movement:
Up from No. 10
What is it? Amgen’s TNF inhibitor to treat autoimmune diseases
Total estimated spending: $10.06 million (up from $7.5 million in August)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Leah” (est. $9.1 million)


10. Ubrelvy
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? AbbVie’s oral CGRP for acute treatment of migraines
Total estimated spending: $10.02 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Every Match Counts featuring Serena Williams” (est. $6.8 million)