New Actos ads aim at Avandia switchers

Takeda Pharmaceutical is wasting no time capitalizing on Avandia's near demise. The Japanese drugmaker, which markets Avandia's only direct rival, Actos, is running a series of DTC ads suggesting that patients switch. The ads even offer a free 30-day trial, Medical Marketing & Media reports.

"Are you taking Avandia and considering a change?" the advertisement asks. Well, after the much-publicized debate over the safety of GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug, many patients are. Last week, European regulators decided to yank Avandia off the market, while the FDA decided to keep it, but only under tight restrictions. GSK said it would stop promoting the drug completely.

Those FDA restrictions apparently only apply to new Avandia patients, however. So, the thousands of people already taking Avandia are GSK's best hope for continued revenue from the drug. Takeda's obviously targeting those very patients. In 90 markets and 121 newspapers, MM&M says, for the next two weeks.

- read the MM&M story