Big spenders Humira, Lyrica and Xeljanz drop $25M each on TV spending for July

TV
TV ad spending for pharma companies, led again by AbbVie's Humira, totaled more than $165 million, a $10 million jump over June. (islandjoe/CC BY 2.0)

Vacations may have been in full swing in July, but not so for top-spending drug brands. AbbVie’s Humira, along with Pfizer’s Lyrica and Xeljanz, each spent more than $25 million for the month on TV advertising, with each also adding a new commercial to their portfolios.

Humira’s new spot features a young couple in which the man, who has ulcerative colitis, talks about how his disease has kept them apart. Lyrica stuck with its “most people” theme from previous ads, this time featuring a woman who talks about how she knows she looks like any other person even though her “hidden” fibromyalgia is very painful. Xeljanz also continued its ongoing theme, showing people with psoriatic arthritis who are “made for better things” in its new ad with a mother and son enjoying a day at his baseball game.

One of the entrants to the top 10 pharma spenders for July is in a new category for big media TV buys. Gilead’s Truvada debuted a new TV spot in late June for its FDA-approved HIV prevention indication, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The ad features a series of people, including several men, saying “I’m on the Pill,” before explaining that it’s not in the traditional sense, but rather to lower their risk of contracting HIV from sex. While the ad got heavy media rotation in July, it’s already off the air, possibly indicating it was a test run. Gilead did not reply to requests for information about the campaign.

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Total top 10 pharma ad spending on TV media for July was $165 million, up from $155 million in June.

1. Humira

Movement: Stayed same
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $38.7 million (up from $29.8 million in June)
Number of spots: Nine (Two for arthritis, five for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, two for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Body of Proof: Nightlife” for arthritis (est. $10.5 million)

2. Lyrica

Movement: Up from number 3
What is it? Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $25.7 million (up from $18 million in June)
Number of spots: Seven
Biggest-ticket ad: “Lake Home” (est. $9.8 million)

3. Xeljanz

Movement: Up from number 5
What is it? Pfizer oral rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Total estimated spending: $25.5 million (up from $14.2 million in June)
Number of spots: Three
Biggest-ticket ad: “Mornings” (est. $15.6 million)

4. Xarelto

Movement: Stayed same
What is it? Johnson & Johnson next-generation anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $15 million (up from $14.2 million in June)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Selective” (est. $7.6 million)

5. Trulicity

Movement: Down from number 2
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $14.4 million (down from $19.9 million in June)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Make Your Own Insulin” (est. $8.3 million)

6. Cosentyx

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Novartis next-generation psoriasis medication
Total estimated spending: $12.4 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Watch Me” (est. $7.9 million)

7. Otezla

Movement: Up from No. 9
What is it? Celgene's oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $10.9 million (down from $11.9 million in June)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Little Things Can Be a Big Deal”

(Ad not available at request of Celgene)

8. Verzenio

Movement: Down from No. 7
What is it? Eli Lilly breast cancer drug
Total estimated spending: $10.4 million (down from $13.7 million in June)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Relentless” (est. $9.6 million)

9. Truvada

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Gilead’s HIV drug and preventative
Total estimated spending: $8.7 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “On the Pill”

10. Jardiance

Movement: Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim SGLT2 diabetes treatment
Total estimated spending: $7.7 million
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “What Matters to You”