Spend Trends 2007: Hang 10 - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Spend Trends 2007: Hang 10
DTC Hits Its First Decade


Pharmaceutical Executive


The last is a continued emphasis on understanding prescriptions from the patient's point of view—and why patients might (or might not) comply with a drug's dosing.

Wide Awake

Insomnia Marketers Not Asleep at the Switch (But Consumers May Be Asleep at the Wheel)


David Kweskin, TNS
One thing's for sure—insomnia marketers weren't asleep when it came to driving DTC advertising in 2006. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the brand team for Sepracor's Lunesta (eszopiclone) spent the biggest bucks on consumer advertising, knocking AstraZeneca's heartburn drug Nexium (esomeprazole) right out of first place—and into fifth. Rival Sanofi-Aventis's Ambien CR (zolpidem) followed hot on the heels of Lunesta in terms of spending. Still another sleep aid, Takeda's Rozerem (ramelteon), debuted on the high-spenders list, coming in 12th. Insomnia drugs, according to David Kweskin, senior vice president and practice area leader for TNS, have become the new cholesterol drugs: They are fiercely jockeying for market share in a crowded category. "When Lunesta first stepped in, it forced a reaction from Ambien," Kweskin says. "Then Ambien CR stepped in, so Rozerem stepped up."

The more visible the ads, the more scrutiny they receive. FDA recently ordered sleep-aid makers to warn consumers of the risk of "severe allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, which may include sleep-driving." (Yes, driving in your sleep.)

With this cross-category warning, marketers must differentiate their respective products from the pack. "But being unique is not tantamount to success," warns Kweskin, pointing to Rozerem's quirky ads featuring a talking beaver. "They grab your attention—but does it create recall?"


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