Humira back on top of TV spending list for October, ahead of Lyrica and Victoza

TV and advertising graphic
DTC spending on national TV commercials by pharma totaled almost $200 million among the top 10 for October.

Forget winding down. AbbVie’s Humira is back on top of the pharma TV ad spending charts. After a rare decline to the No. 2 spot in September, Humira reclaimed its title as top advertised drug on national TV with more than $40 million in spending on seven commercials across its three indications. That's almost double its spending of $23 million the month before.

The 10 top spending pharma brands in October together shelled out just under $200 million for national TV advertising for the month. Humira was followed by Pfizer’s Lyrica and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza at just under $24 million and $22 million, respectively.

Victoza jumped up from the bottom of the list last month with heavy replay of a new TV ad highlighting its claim—recently approved by the FDA—that it lowers the risk of major cardiovascular events for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance makes a similar claim in its two TV ads, totaling $17.7 million in October spend. Both commercials are shot in a man-on-the-street style in which an interviewer with a camera crew asks people with diabetes about their knowledge of cardiovascular risks.

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Another new spot with big spending power in October was Novartis’ Cosentyx “Watch Me” commercial, which helped propel the psoriatic arthritis drug to No. 5 on the list. Cosentyx is defending its lead in the next-gen market against Lilly's newer medication Taltz, which came in seventh this month with $15.6 million.

1. Humira

Movement: Up from No. 2
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $40.4 million (up from $23.3 million in September)
Number of spots: Seven (Two for arthritis, three for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, two for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Chase What You Love” for arthritis (est. $9.2 million)

2. Lyrica

Movement: Down from No. 1
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $23.7 million (down from $33.8 million in September)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Kenny’s Story” (est. $12.3 million)

3. Victoza

Movement: Up from No. 10
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 agonist
Total estimated spending: $21.8 million (up from $8.1 million in September)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Cardiovascular Disease”

4. Xeljanz XR

Movement: Down from No. 3
What is it? Pfizer oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending: $19.9 million (up from $14.4 million in August)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Vinyl Collection” (est. $9.5 million)

5. Cosentyx

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Novartis next-generation psoriasis medication
Total estimated spending: $18.9 million
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Watch Me” (est. $12.6 million)

6. Jardiance

Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim SGLT2 diabetes treatment
Total estimated spending: $17.6 million (up from $9.1 million in September)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Big News” (est. $16.4 million)

7. Taltz

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly next-generation psoriasis treatment
Total estimated spending: $15.6 million
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “A Touching Moment” (est. $15.4 million)

8. Keytruda

Movement: Down from No. 4
What is it? Merck’s PD-1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $14.7 million (up from $13.2 million in September)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “It’s TRU: Donna’s Story”

9. Xarelto

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Johnson & Johnson next-generation anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $14.4 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Most Challenging Opponent” (est. $7.5 million)

10. Latuda

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Sunovion Pharmaceutical antipsychotic
Total estimated spending: $12.2 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Maya’s Story”