Pfizer dethrones AbbVie as Xeljanz soars past Humira in January TV spending

People watching TV
TV viewers saw a lot of Xeljanz and AbbVie TV commercials in January as the two drugs topped the list of pharma ad spenders. (Xandr)

New year, new leader on the pharma TV ad spending board. In January, Pfizer’s Xeljanz topped AbbVie's Humira in a rare bypass of the usual No. 1, spending more than $40 million on national TV time. That total was $6 million more than Humira's, according to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv.

Xeljanz ran four TV spots during the month, continuing to spend most heavily on a newer ad launched in December touting its ulcerative colitis indication. It got the FDA nod for the indication in May, adding to its rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis approvals, and spent more than $35 million in December and another $26 million in January on the ulcerative colitis treatment commercial.

Newcomers to the list included AbbVie’s Orilissa, which debuted its first TV ad campaign for the endometriosis pain treatment mid-month. Also on the list for January was Pfizer’s eczema treatment Eucrisa, backed by a renewed push in its ongoing “Nose to Toes” TV ad campaign. Two new commercials debuted, focused more on the drug’s approved status for kids, with youngsters like the “face of a flower girl” and “the arm of an artist” featured as Pfizer continued to point to its steroid-free status.

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TV ad spending by pharma’s top 10 in January tallied $172 million, kicking off 2019 only slightly lower than December’s $178 million total in national media buys.

1. Xeljanz
Movement:
Moved up from No. 2
What is it? Pfizer oral RA and ulcerative colitis med
Total estimated spending: $40.5 million (down from $42.2 million in December)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “A Different Direction” (est. $26.1 million)
 

2. Humira
Movement:
Down from No. 1
What is it? AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $34.9 million (down from $44.6 million in December)
Number of spots: 11 (Five for arthritis, five for ulcerative colitis/Crohn's, one for psoriasis)
Biggest-ticket ad: “Body of Proof: $5 per month” (est. $4.7 million)

3. Trulicity 
Movement:
Up from No. 4
What is it? Eli Lilly GLP-1 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $17.3 million (up from $13.8 million in December)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Do More: Firefighter” (est. $8.1 million)

4. Eliquis
Movement:
Up from No. 7
What is it? Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb next-gen anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $13.7 million (up from $10.3 million in December)
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Around the Corner” (est. $5.7 million)

5. Orilissa
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? AbbVie endometriosis pain drug
Total estimated spending: $12.1 million
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Or I Can: Choose a Solution” (est. $7 million)

6. Otezla
Movement:
Stayed same
What is it? Celgene oral treatment for plaque psoriasis
Total estimated spending: $12 million (down from $12.4 million in December)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Little Things” (est. $7.3 million)

(Commercial not available at the request of Celgene.)

7. Ozempic
Movement:
Up from No. 9
What is it? Novo Nordisk GLP-1 diabetes med
Total estimated spending: $10.7 million (up from $8.6 million in December)
Number of spots: One
Biggest-ticket ad: “Arcade”

8. Eucrisa
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Pfizer PDE-4 eczema treatment
Total estimated spending: $10.5 million
Number of spots: Five
Biggest-ticket ad: “Flower Girl” (est. $6.2 million)

9. Xarelto
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Johnson & Johnson next-gen anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $10.2 million (down from $13 million in December)
Number of spots: Two
Biggest-ticket ad: “Learn All You Can” (est. $5.2 million)
 


10. Taltz
Movement:
Not on list last month
What is it? Eli Lilly psoriatic arthritis drug
Total estimated spending: $10.1 million
Number of spots: Four
Biggest-ticket ad: “Touch: 100% Clear Skin” (est. $3.3 million)
 

 

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