March on: AbbVie, Pfizer hold their places atop pharma's TV ad spender list

People watching TV
Pharma TV ad spending for March topped $169 million with Humira, Xeljanz and Keytruda leading the way. (Xandr)

No top-2 newcomers here. AbbVie’s Humira and Pfizer’s Xeljanz remained in leading spots in the pharma TV ad spending ranks in March, spending $31.5 million and $26.2 million, respectively, for the month, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

A new Humira commercial for the drug's psoriasis indication helped push it to the top again. The TV ad, touting the drug's new citrate-free formulation, was its single biggest ad spend at $11 million for the month, according to iSpot. Citrate has become a bit of a talking point as Humira global biosimilars come to market because there is some evidence that citrate-free adalimumab may provide an advantage over the original formulation with reduced post-injection pain. Amgen’s Amgevita and Mylan’s Hulio are also citrate-free, while others, including Imraldi from Samsung Bioepis and Sandoz’s Hyrimoz, do contain citric acid.

Meanwhile, Merck’s Keytruda was back on the list for the first time in months, pushed by the TV media spending on the immuno-oncology star's new patient and doctor true story ads launched in January.

Eli Lilly migraine treatment Emgality made the list for a second month in a row fueled by spending on its debut campaign, in which a mother who suffers from migraines enjoys an imagination-filled day with her young daughter. Gilead’s Truvada was also on for the second consecutive month with its straight-talking PrEP campaign for HIV prevention that started last summer.

Overall, pharma TV ad spending among the top 10 picked up in March with a total of $169 million, up from $150 million in February and on par with the $172 million spent in January.

1. Humira
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $31.5 million (down from $33.7 million in February)
Number of spots: 13 (Six for arthritis, five for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, two for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Humira Pen: Citrate Free” (est. $11 million)


2. Xeljanz
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Pfizer oral RA and ulcerative colitis drug
Total estimated spending: $26.2 million (down from $30.8 million in February)
Number of spots: Five
Biggest-ticket ad: “A Different Direction” (est. $17.7 million)


3. Keytruda
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Merck’s PD-1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $16.8 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “It's TRU: Katy and Dr. Kloecker's Story (est. $12.9 million)


4. Emgality
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Eli Lilly anti-CGRP migraine treatment
Total estimated spending: $16.7 million (up from $11.7 million in February)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Pirates”


5. Ilumya
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Sun Pharma IL-23 psoriasis drug
Total estimated spending: $16.5 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “A Reminder”


6. Trulicity
Movement:
Up from No. 4
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $13.5 million
Number of spots: Five
Biggest-ticket ad: “Do More: Firefighter” (est. $13 million)


7. Rexulti
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Otsuka and Lundbeck’s antipsychotic
Total estimated spending: $12.8 million (up from $10.9 million in February)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Good Works Kitchen”


8. Truvada
Movement:
Down from No. 3
What is it? Gilead’s HIV and PrEP drug
Total estimated spending: $12.5 million (same as February)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “On the Pill”


9. Otezla
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Celgene's oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $12.4 million (down from $9.5 million in February)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Summer Days” (est. $12.4 million)

(Ad not available at Celgene's request)

10. Ozempic
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $10.3 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Arcade: Oh, Oh, Oh, Ozempic”

 

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