With May pharma TV ad spending, AbbVie’s Humira tops last year’s total; Pfizer’s Lyrica close behind

humira

Amid projections and prognostications of overall pharma ad spending increases for 2016, iSpot.tv’s ad tracking numbers for May bear that out, with AbbVie’s ($ABBV) Humira leading the charge. AbbVie spent more than $25 million on Humira TV ads in May, bringing the drug’s TV spending total to $118 million for the year. That means AbbVie has already topped its full-year 2015 TV ad spending of $98.6 million.

Humira has been running nine ads since January, spread thematically across its three FDA-approved indications for arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, with the most, a total of $60.9 million, spent on placing its 5 TV ads for arthritis, according to iSpot.tv data.

The TV spend reflects Humira’s importance to AbbVie; it brought in $8.4 billion in sales last year and accounted for 62% of the company’s total revenue. Humira revenue for the first quarter of 2016 was $2.2 billion. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that AbbVie raised the price of Humira 8 times in the past three years, increasing its price 73% to about $49,000 a year before discounts.

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Pending competition for Humira may also be spurring TV advertising, with AbbVie estimating its first biologic competitors coming to market in Europe in 2018.

Still Humira’s not the only accelerated spender so far this year. Pfizer’s ($PFE) Lyrica in the No. 2 spot for May at $16.8 million spent, is also burning up the charts. Its year-to-date TV spending is $85.7 million, still short of last year’s $116.2 million, but at 74% of last year’s budget is closing in on that total. Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ($BMY) anticoagulant Eliquis, at No. 5 this month, has spent $64.7 million in 2016, which is about 67% of its $96.7 million total TV spend for 2015.

1. Humira
Movement: Up from No. 2 last month
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $25M (up from $24.1M in April)
Number of spots: 7 (3 for arthritis, 2 for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, 2 for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: "Go Further” for arthritis (est. $9.4M)

2. Lyrica
Movement: Down from No. 1 last month
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $16.8M (down from $25.8M in April)
Number of spots: 4
Biggest-ticket ad: "Keep the Beat Going" (est. $5.8M)

3. Latuda
Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Sunovion Pharmaceutical antipsychotic
Total estimated spending: $14.5M (down from $17.2 million in April)
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: "Amy's Story" (est. $9.3M)

4. Breo
Movement: Up from No. 6 last month
What is it? GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) respiratory drug
Total estimated spending: $10.2M (down from $11.2 M in April)
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: "Puzzle Piece" (est. $5.4M)

5. Eliquis
Movement: Down from No. 4 last month
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $10.1M (down from $15.3M in April)
Number of spots: 3
Biggest-ticket ad: "DVT and PE Blood Clots" (est. $6.7M)

6. Januvia
Movement: Not on April's list
What is it? Merck’s ($MRK) DPP-4 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $8.4M
Number of spots: 1
Biggest-ticket ad: “Seesaw”

7. Farxiga
Movement: Down from No. 6
What is it? AstraZeneca’s ($AZN) SGLT2 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $8.3M (down from $12.5M in April)
Number of spots: 1
Biggest-ticket ad: "Everyday People"

8. Opdivo
Movement: Not on list in April
What is it? Bristol-Myers Squibb PD-1 cancer fighter
Total estimated spending: $8.2M
Number of spots: 2
Biggest-ticket ad: “Most Prescribed Immunotherapy” (est. $4.6 million)

9. Victoza
Movement: Down from No. 7 last month
What is it? Novo Nordisk ($NVO) GLP-1 treatment
Total estimated spending: $7.7M (down from $9.7M in April)
Number of spots: 3
Biggest-ticket ad: "Melody" (est. $3.8M)

10. Cosentyx
Movement: Not on April's list
What is it? Novartis ($NVS) next-gen psoriasis medication
Total estimated spending: $7.6M
Number of spots: 1
Biggest-ticket ad: “See Me"

Related Articles:
Camera-ready Pfizer and J&J top pharma list of TV ad spenders for 2015
Payers say dramatic savings from biosimilars a mirage, offset by price hikes
'Cornerstone' patent on AbbVie's Humira comes under PTAB review
Blockbusters and cliffhangers: April's top TV ad spenders
Pharma's DTC ad spending soars past $5B in 2015

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