Less Spent By Pharma in 2012 to Promote Drugs

Less Spent By Pharma in 2012 to Promote Drugs

March 4th, 2013 // 1:18 pm @

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In 2012, more than $27 billion was spent by the pharmaceutical industry in the US to promote medicines, which amounted to an 8 percent drop from the previous year. Some things, however, stayed the same. The share of the top therapeutic classes by spending was largely unchanged from 2011, with cardiovascular drugs declining 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. And Pfizer continued to lead all drugmakers with spending that nearly reach $2.4 billion, a 9 percent share, although that share fell by 2 percent. The runner up was Merck at $2.1 billion, although its spending remained flat, according to Cegedim Strategic Data, a market research firm.

As for the different types of promotional spending, there were declines nearly across the board with 90 percent attributed to detailing, sampling and direct-to-consumer advertising. Clinical trial spending fell 13 percent to $133 million; detailing dropped 5 percent to $15 billion; sample spending slumped 9 percent to $5.7 billion; DTC dropped 22 percent to $3.1 billion, and meeting spending dropped 2 percent to $2.1 billion. Print advertising also fell, but a number was not cited. Direct mail spending, by contrast, rose 16 percent to $1.1 billion.

And how about specific brands? Last year, the Cymbalta antidepressant sold by Eli Lilly (LLY) was again the most widely promoted drug, although 38 percent of the spending was on DTC while the market average was just 13 percent. Once again, the Celebrex painkiller sold by Pfizer (PFE) and the Advair chronic obstrutive pulmonary disorder med sold by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) were ranked second and third. The Viibryd antidepressant sold by Forest Laboratories (FRX), which was ninth on the list, was the biggest mover.

Although most promotional spending was concentrated on detailing and samples, CSD business development director Jerry Maynor looks for more DTC this year as newer brands are approved and launched, particularly for diabetes. “I think from 2012 to 2013, we’re going to see an expansion in DTC,” tells MedAd 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.’”


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