Allergan broadens Alzheimer's campaign after expanding Namzaric indication


With a newly expanded indication for Alzheimer’s disease combination therapy Namzaric, Allergan has added new creative elements to an already-running campaign. 

The expansion, approved in July, allows patients currently treated with Eisai's Aricept to start therapy directly with Namzaric, a combination of the active ingredients in Aricept and Allergan's Namenda XR. Advertising featuring a son taking care of his father began this month to complement older, similar ads with a daughter and mother.

The campaign, “Common Bonds,” began last fall with the daughter-as-caregiver commercial, in part because two-thirds of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women. However, the second ad with a son as caregiver had always been planned as additional creative from the start of the campaign, an Allergan spokeswoman said in an email interview with FiercePharma.

“While two-thirds of primary caregivers are women, there is still one-third who are men, and of all caregivers, more than half take care of their parents. Our vision was to have ads that speak to everyone who is impacted by this devastating disease– mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, spouses, friends and family members,” she said.   

The paid mass-media campaign, which includes TV, print, display ads online, online video and radio, is meant to complement Allergan’s broader sales rep effort.

Namzaric has been a ray of hope for the Allergan central nervous system group as its NMDA receptor antagonist, Namenda IR, treatment went off patent. Allergan initially tried a “hard switch” with patients to force them from the aging med to an extended version, but it was blocked by the courts. And though the still-patented, extended version, Namenda XR, has helped stem losses, the company is counting on Namzaric to come up big. Q3 sales for Namzaric were $14.9 million, up from $12.8 million in Q2.

The campaign was inspired by the strength of both caregivers and patients who are managing and fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

“It was that insight that led to the focus on the common bonds the patient and caregiver share—same eyes, same nose, and same will to never quit fighting this disease. The goal is to establish an emotional connection with caregivers, which helps to drive engagement and communicate the message about the hope Namzaric can offer,” the Allergan spokeswoman said.