Pharma's December TV spending sags; Pfizer and BMS' Eliquis rises to top

While pharma TV ad spending among the top 10 slowed overall in December, new brands and ongoing promotions still kept the airwaves humming with DTC ads. Spending for the top 10 was $107 million, down from $114 million in November, according to data gathered by real-time TV tracker iSpot.tv for FiercePharmaMarketing.

Pfizer ($PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) anticoagulant Eliquis rose to the top spot, with the companies plunking down almost $16 million on two different TV spots for the drug.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's new generation cancer-fighter Opdivo, which was No. 1 in November, fell out of the top 10 after two strong spending months, as did Roche's ($RHHBY) Tamiflu, although the latter was possibly due to the seasonality of the flu medicine.

New additions included Pfizer's smoking cessation drug Chantix, which may have been a bid for New Year's resolution-makers, along with Type 2 diabetes meds Toujeo, from Sanofi ($SNY), and Farxiga, from AstraZeneca ($AZN). GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) respiratory drug Breo Ellipta also joined the top 10 at No. 8 with new creative that bowed in November, focusing on an indication for asthma that was approved in May.


1. Eliquis
Last month: No. 6
Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb anticoagulant
Total estimated spending: $15.9 million
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: Turn Around Your Thinking
Estimated spend on that ad: $8.9 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 2355
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 651
% of industry spend: 3.78


2. Prevnar 13
Last month: No. 8
Pfizer pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine
Total estimated spending: $14.4 million
# of spots: 1 – One Step
Total airings: 748
Primetime airings: 305
% of industry spend: 3.4


3. Lyrica
Last month: No. 3
Pfizer seizure and pain drug
Total estimated spending: $14.3 million
# of spots: 5
Ad with the biggest spend: Fibromyalgia Set Backs
Estimated spend on that ad: $7.9 million
Total airings for 5 ads: 319
Primetime airings for 5 ads: 110
% of industry spend: 3.38


4. Humira
Last month: No. 2
AbbVie anti-inflammatory drug
Total estimated spending: $11.8 million
# of spots: 7
Ad with the biggest spend: Grocery Store
Estimated spend on that ad: $6.5 million
Total airings for 7 ads: 3,083
Primetime airings for 7 ads: 623
% of industry spend: 2.78


5. Chantix
Last month: Not on list
Pfizer smoking cessation drug
Total estimated spending: $11.4 million
# of spots: 3
Ad with the biggest spend: Billy
Estimated spend on that ad: $6.7 million
Total airings for 3 ads: 2,062
Primetime airings for 3 ads: 478
% of industry spend: 2.7


6. Toujeo
Last month: Not on list
Sanofi basal insulin for diabetes
Total estimated spending: $8.6 million
# of spots: 1 – Journal
Total airings: 655
Primetime airings: 146
% of industry spend: 2.05


7. Farxiga
Last month: Not on list
AstraZeneca SGLT2 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $8.4 million
# of spots: 1 – Everyday People
Total airings: 1495
Primetime airings: 244
% of industry spend: 1.99


8. Invokana
Last month: No. 4
Johnson & Johnson SGLT2 diabetes drug
Total estimated spending: $8.2 million
# of spots: 2
Ad with the biggest spend: You're Not Alone
Estimated spend on that ad: $7.1 million
Total airings for 2 ads: 801
Primetime airings for 2 ads: 168
% of industry spend: 1.94


9. Breo Ellipta
Last month: Not on list
GlaxoSmithKline respiratory treatment
Total estimated spending: $7.5 million
# of spots: 1 – Missing Piece
Total airings: 1447
Primetime airings: 318
% of industry spend: 1.78


10. Xeljanz
Last month: No. 7
Pfizer rheumatoid arthritis drug
Total estimated spending: $6.6 million
# of spots: 1 – Made for Better Things
Total airings: 1083
Primetime airings: 255
% of industry spend: 1.57


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