It's been a big year in pharma marketing, perhaps the biggest so far this decade. 2015 brought us some long-awaited new rivalries--from the PCSK9 drugs to cancer immunotherapies--and long-anticipated launches like Novartis' ($NVS) Entresto.
Then there were the new ad campaigns for meds approved in recent months, including Merck & Co.'s ($MRK) sleep med Belsomra, Sanofi's ($SNY) Lantus follow-up Toujeo, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) cancer drug Opdivo. Ad spending so far this year has been healthy, and thanks to those new launches, is expected to stay that way.
Looking back at FiercePharmaMarketing's web traffic for the year, we found that readers followed a couple of other recent launches quite closely: Novartis' new psoriasis drug Cosentyx captured the most online readers with its January approval, and Amgen's ($AMGN) Blincyto racked up traffic with its debut. And with GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Anoro and Breo lagging in their early days, readers understandably flocked to a story about why.
Sales estimates for immuno-oncology treatments--$33 billion, an eye-catching number--and early groundwork for Sanofi and Regeneron's ($REGN) PCSK9 treatment Praluent caught readers' attention, too. So did a couple of takes on pharma's reputation and pricing; in fact, four of our 10 most-read stories of the year had to do with pricing.
A couple of quirky pieces were standouts, too: First, a feature on Cards Against Biotechnology, a last hurrah from Cubist Pharmaceuticals' marketing department before their company was absorbed by Merck. Second--with a bigger audience, all told--was FierceMadness, our very own March bracket tournament, featuring drug names rather than sports teams. The final match-up was among our 10 most visited of the year. You'll have to read the story to find out who prevailed.
So, for your condensed version of 2015's biggest marketing news, check out our top 10 below. Thoughts on these stories--or on news that should have made the cut? Let us know. -- Tracy Staton (email | Twitter)
1. Novartis' Cosentyx price sets the stage for psoriasis battle
2. A behind-the-scenes look at Cards Against Biotechnology, Cubist's snarky 'last hurrah'
3. Big Pharma's bad rap made late-night TV, even before the Shkreli effect
4. One potential reason for GSK's sluggish Breo and Anoro sales
5. BioMarin's Vimizim and Lilly's Trulicity square off in drug-name tourney championship
6. Bayer's sales rep whistleblower wins new job, back pay in termination suit
7. Amgen slaps $178K price on rare new leukemia drug Blincyto
8. Bristol-Myers is surfing for first place on the $33B PD-1 tsunami: analysts
9. Top cancer doc takes to social media to fight rising prices
10. Sanofi, Regeneron prepped PCSK9 rollout with 'Cholesterol Counts' campaign