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.

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”