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The cost of advertising cancer products in the United States is constantly growing

17.01.2019
Business, Medicine, USA

Onco-blockbuster manufacturer Keitrud (pembrolizumab), Merck, launched a new format ad on American television.
The campaign involves the appearance of real patients and oncologists in the frame. For two years, Merck spent $ 234 million on television advertising of the drug. Promotion of Keitruda's main competitor, Opdivo (nivolumab), in the American market cost Bristol Mayers Squibb to its manufacturer $ 235 million.

In January 2019, Merck launched two videos that continue the TR’s advertising campaign and contain stories of real patients. Oncologist Goetz Kloker, who is walking through the hospital and telling about the benefits of inaccessible therapy a few years ago, appears in the new clip for the first time.

In the second video, Clocker talks to his patient, who has previously been diagnosed with lung cancer. This is the fourth, according to Merck, real patient, attracted by the company to participate in the advertising campaign that started a year ago.

According to a study by New Drugs, New Money: Surge in Cancer DTC, conducted by Syneos Health, in 2008, drug manufacturers allocated less than 7% of their promotional budget to direct consumer (Direct-to-consumer-DTC). ecoproperiods, the rest was spent on conferences, meetings with doctors, advertising in professional journals. This indicator began to grow from 2014 and by the end of 2017 it was 39%. The leaders of the cost of DTC, researchers from Syneos Health called Merck, BMS, Pfizer.

In addition to the share of costs for direct access to patients, advertising budgets themselves are growing. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in early 2018 estimates the total cost of promotion of prescription drugs in 2016 at $ 9.6 billion compared to $ 2.1 billion in 1997.

Another example of DTC can be the placement in the Eli Lilly antidiabetic drug ad for links to an information page containing a table of the relative cost of the appointment, depending on the specific insurance plan. This footnote, according to Bloomberg, is a response to the appeal of the US Presidential Administration to inform consumers about the price of the drug in each advertising appeal.

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In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating DTC. The latest valid version of the thematic manual of the FDA, according to the official page of the regulator, is dated 2009, and the new version of the document has the status of a project. Direct advertising of prescription drugs, in addition to the United States, is allowed in only three countries - New Zealand, Brazil and Hong Kong.