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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20456

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Cymbalta still tops in U.S. drug promotion list
Med Ad News 2013 Feb 28

Full text:

The 10 most promoted drugs in the United States in 2012 were Cymbalta, Celebrex, Advair, Crestor, Pradaxa, Cialis, Bystolic, Symbicort, Viibryd, and Spiriva, according to Cegedim Strategic Data’s “2012 U.S . Pharmaceutical Spending Report.” Companies spent $27 billion in 2012, 8 percent less than in 2011.

The report, which examines promotion spending by therapeutic class, spending trends by marketing channel, and the impact of electronic visual aids in promotion, showed that promotional trends had little variation from 2011.

In many ways, according to Jerry Maynor, business development director at CSD, 2012 was a continuation of the trends of 2011 – with the impact of patent expirations taking effect across the board.

Share of the top therapeutic classes by spending varied little compared with 2011, with cardiovascular products falling by 2 percent and alimentary tract and metabolism rising by 2 percent. The top three therapeutic areas – nervous system, cardiovascular, and alimentary tract and metabolism – together accounted for almost half of all spending in the market. Pfizer continued to lead all corporations in U.S. spending, though its share fell by 2 percent.

According to CSD, in 2012, Pfizer spent $2.39 billion in promotion, followed by Merck & Co. at $2.11 billion; AstraZeneca at $1.78 billion; Eli Lilly & Co. at $1.64 billion; Boehringer Ingelheim at $1.46 billion; GlaxoSmithKline at $1.32 billion; Forest Laboratories at $1.31 billion; Novartis at $1.21 billion; Bristol-Myers Squibb at $1.16 billion; and Abbott at $1.1 billion.

Promotional spending in most marketing channels decreased – for example, the $133.3 million spent by the industry on clinical trials in 2012 was 13 percent less than 2011. The industry spent about $15 billion in 2012, 5 percent less than the previous year. DTC dropped about 22 percent, to $3.1 billion. Maynor says about a third of this was the impact of Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Lipitor going off patent in November 2011. The industry also spent 9 percent less on samples in 2012, about $5.72 billion; and spending on meetings went down 2 percent, to $2.14 billion.

Print advertising spend also decreased, but not by the 44 percent shown in the current report; CSD is recalculating that figure, as data gathering was severely disrupted by Superstorm Sandy’s impact on the East Coast.

Spending on mailings went up by 16 percent in 2012, to $1.16 billion. Maynor attributes that variation to the year-to-year adjustment companies typically do with meetings and mailings. With the upcoming changes to the U.S. Postal Service, particularly the closing of facilities and curtailed delivery hours, this figure will possibly be negatively affected in 2013.

For each of the top 10 brands, most generally spent the majority of their promotional dollars on detailing and samples – anywhere from about two-thirds to three-quarters. Two brands – Cymbalta and Cialis – each spent about one-third of their promotional dollars on DTC advertising. For Cymbalta, the breakdown was 38 percent detailing, 22 percent samples, and 37 percent DTC, with 3 percent going to meetings. For Cialis, 35 percent was spent on detailing, 25 percent on samples, and 38 percent on DTC, with 2 percent going to meetings.

Bystolic, Viibryd, Spiriva, and Crestor spent the most on detailing in 2012 – for Bystolic and Viibryd, detailing comprised 62 percent of their promotional spend; Spiriva devoted 60 percent to detailing; and Crestor spent 57 percent.

When it came to spending on samples, Celebrex and Advair each devoted 39 percent of their spend on samples. Symbicort came in second at 32 percent spent on samples, and Bystolic third at 30 percent.

Looking ahead to 2013, Maynor says he believes that DTC spend will go up.

“I think from 2012 to 2013, we’re going to see an expansion in DTC, to support the new product launches,” particularly in the diabetes category, he told Med Ad News. “For one thing, the new launches require education. When you have a whole new category like SGLT-2, particularly a product that’s never worked this way before, you’ve got to have that educational component – not just, ‘Here’s a new pill that will make you better,’ but, ‘Here’s a new pill that will address your blood glucose and help you to lose weight.’”

With these new product launches, expect a bump in spend in other channels as well. “As pharmaceutical promotion is education, the more stuff people need to know about the product, whether that be doctors or consumers, the more you’re going to see spending directed in those areas,” Mayor says. “If you were introducing a new oncology product, and it’s new in the category, obviously you’re not going to do a lot of DTC spend but will definitely put more into physician education. Products in hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, those are areas you want consumers to understand the product, understand the need to go talk to their doctor.”

New for 2012 was a look at the top 10 products detailed by electronic visual aids. According to CSD, these were Crestor, Bystolic, Symbicort, Spiriva, Tradjenta, Onglyza, Viibryd, Tricor, Pradaxa, and Cymbalta.

According to CSD, although it seems at first glance that Tricor and Onglyza use e-visual aids frequently and persuasively, others like Viibyrd and Tradjenta show strong future intent rates but fail to leverage e-visual aids often enough. But a closer look reveals that while these brands have solid intent rates when e-visual aids are used, they are actually lower than when they are not. “Across the 10 products by e-visual aid use, only Onglyza and Tricor show improved intent rates with the use of aids, demonstrating that physicians in the U.S. may prefer a more personal approach and may be slower to open up to new presentation methods than in other markets,” CSD experts say.

Maynor says he expects the use of digital promotion to go up this year. “”That’s going to be the fun part of this year,” he says. “Last year, there wasn’t much change in terms of channel allocation, it was simply the same old, same old.”


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