Pfizer makes Lady Gaga the star of Nurtec ODT migraine push

Pfizer has a new star on the telephone. After working with Khloe Kardashian to move Nurtec ODT to the edge of glory, the migraine therapy’s marketing team has signed up Lady Gaga to give patients a million reasons to take the treatment.

The Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning star is the new face of Nurtec ODT. Lady Gaga put out a post to her 55 million followers on Instagram about her use of the medicine, saying that when she tried the drug “for the first time, I’ll never forget wishing I had found it sooner.” Pfizer also made a photo of Lady Gaga the focal point of its Nurtec ODT website and released an ad featuring the star.

In the 30-second TV spot, we see Lady Gaga, described in a caption as an “actual patient,” singing and playing a piano as the celeb discusses her experience in a voiceover, explaining that “I know what it's like to perform through pain” and alerting fellow migraine sufferers to the Pfizer drug.

“If you're like me, one of the millions suffering from pain caused by migraine, Nurtec ODT may help. It's the only medication that can treat a migraine when it strikes and prevent migraine attacks. Treat and prevent, all in one,” Lady Gaga said. “We're in this together. Talk to a doctor about Nurtec ODT.”

Pfizer also posted a press release about partnering with Lady Gaga, framing the move as part of Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, and put out a blog post about the singer’s experience of living with the neurological disease. 

“My experience with migraines was debilitating. I would be in bed for days with tremendous pain in my head, behind my eyes, and all throughout my face,” Lady Gaga said. “I couldn’t read or have any lights on, and I needed to be alone in a quiet room for hours that could lead to days until the pain subsided.”

The singer was diagnosed with migraines at 14 and initially had attacks once a month. At age 25, Lady Gaga, by then a global superstar, was having migraines several times a month and, although they were duller than before, some lasted all day. “I can’t tell you how many primary care doctors visits I’ve cried through when they ask me how I was feeling,” she said.

Pfizer is spreading Lady Gaga’s story as it works to generate a return on its $11.6 billion acquisition of the migraine drug developer Biohaven Pharma. The buyout positioned Pfizer to fight AbbVie for the nascent oral CGRP inhibitor market. Pfizer grew (PDF) sales of Nurtec ODT to $167 million in the first quarter and closed in on the quarterly run rate it will need to live up to blockbuster forecasts.

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