Is that drug ad for me? Peo­ple pay more at­ten­tion to phar­ma DTC for fa­mil­iar con­di­tions, study finds

Drug ads on TV are al­ways telling peo­ple to “ask your doc­tor.” But guess what? Al­most one in five ac­tu­al­ly do bring up a drug they’ve seen in ad­ver­tis­ing dur­ing a med­ical vis­it while one in 10 say they even ask di­rect­ly for the pre­scrip­tion.

That’s ac­cord­ing to a new Deep­In­tent study field­ed as a fol­low-up to an ini­tial deep dive in­to per­cep­tions around phar­ma di­rect-to-con­sumer mar­ket­ing in March. Back then re­searchers at the dig­i­tal health­care mar­ket­ing plat­form found, not sur­pris­ing­ly, peo­ple were see­ing more DTC ad­ver­tis­ing thanks to in­creas­es in dig­i­tal con­sump­tion dur­ing the pan­dem­ic.

A lot more in fact. Phar­ma and health­care com­pa­nies’ dig­i­tal ad spend­ing jumped to more than $9.5 bil­lion in 2020, eMar­keter re­ports, and pre­dicts an­oth­er big jump by the end of this year to $11.3 bil­lion, an in­crease of 18%.

Yet at the same time, peo­ple al­so re­port­ed feel­ing less in­formed than ever. While 75% agreed that be­ing in­formed about phar­ma treat­ment op­tions could save lives, more than 30% said they didn’t know enough in­for­ma­tion be­fore they talked to their doc­tors.

One of the goals of Deep­In­tent’s sec­ond study was to fig­ure out what peo­ple are find­ing on­line when they look up a drug and how phar­ma com­pa­nies can bet­ter con­nect the dots be­tween con­sumers and physi­cians.

The num­ber one ap­peal of a drug ad was rel­e­vance. More than half (51%) of the more than 1,200 con­sumers sur­veyed paid more at­ten­tion to drug ads that dis­cuss a health con­di­tion they have, and an­oth­er 33% pay at­ten­tion to ads that talk about a loved one’s con­di­tion. A small­er 15% point­ed to good con­tent as a rea­son they paid at­ten­tion to the ad.

Mar­cel­la Mil­li­et Scior­ra​

“Con­sis­tent with our first re­search, when peo­ple see an ad that’s rel­e­vant to their con­di­tion, they will go on­line and do more re­search about the drug,” Mar­cel­la Mil­li­et Scior­ra​, Deep­In­tent’s se­nior VP of mar­ket­ing said, adding go­ing on­line — and im­por­tant­ly, find­ing the right con­tent, will help peo­ple “have bet­ter ed­u­cat­ed dis­cus­sions with their doc­tor.”

The study al­so took a phar­ma in­dus­try tem­per­a­ture check ask­ing if the pan­dem­ic in­flu­enced opin­ions about it af­ter the rapid Covid-19 vac­cine de­vel­op­ment. An even split said they had a high­er (19%) or low­er (20%) opin­ion of phar­ma, while 47% said their opin­ion didn’t change.

That’s not-so-great news for phar­ma com­pa­nies’ rep­u­ta­tions as they push to build on pub­lic health good­will af­ter the pan­dem­ic.

“COVID be­came such a po­lit­i­cal is­sue, it cloud­ed a lot of the achieve­ments of the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try. I’m not sure that’s the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try’s fault, but just the re­al­i­ty we live in to­day,” Scior­ra said.

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His­toric drug pric­ing re­forms pass; Pfiz­er ac­quires GBT; The long search for non-opi­oid pain drugs; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

The Endpoints Weekly has officially crossed the 60,000 mark on subscribers — thanks to all of your support. As the editorial team grows, we’ve been able to do a lot more, with many of those on display this week. Be sure to check out Lei Lei Wu’s deep dive on pain R&D. If you missed it, you may also rewatch her companion panel here.

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Gold for adults, sil­ver for in­fants: Pfiz­er's Pre­vnar 2.0 head­ed to FDA months af­ter Mer­ck­'s green light

Pfizer was first to the finish line for the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine in adults, but Merck beat its rival with a jab for children in June.

Now, two months after Merck’s 15-valent Vaxneuvance won the FDA stamp of approval for kids, Pfizer is out with some late-stage data on its 20-valent shot for infants.

Known as Prevnar 20 for adults, Pfizer’s 20vPnC will head to the FDA by the end of this year for an approval request in infants, the Big Pharma said Friday morning. Discussions with the FDA will occur first and more late-stage pediatric trials are expected to read out soon, informing the regulatory pathway in other countries and regions.

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Seagen interim CEO Roger Dansey and Daiichi Sankyo CEO Sunao Manabe

Paving the way for Mer­ck­'s buy­out, Seagen los­es ar­bi­tra­tion dis­pute with Dai­ichi over ADC tech

As Seagen awaits a final buyout offer from Merck that could be in the territory of $40 billion, Seagen revealed Friday afternoon that it lost an arbitration dispute with Daiichi Sankyo relating to the companies’ 2008 collaboration around the use of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology.

But that loss likely won’t matter much when it comes to Merck’s deal.

After breaking off its pact with Daiichi in mid-2015, the two companies battled over “linker” tech — a chemical bridge between an ADC’s antibody component and the cytotoxic payload — that Seagen claims Daiichi would improve upon and implement in its current generation of ADCs.

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CSL is gathering its four business units under a unified brand identity strategy (Credit: CSL company site)

CSL brings Se­qirus, Vi­for un­der par­ent um­brel­la brand in iden­ti­ty re­vamp

CSL is gathering its brands under the family name umbrella, renaming its vaccine and newly acquired nephrology specialty businesses with the parent initials.

CSL Seqirus and CSL Vifor join CSL Plasma and CSL Behring as the four now uniformly branded business units of the global biopharma. The Seqirus vaccine division was formed in 2015 with the combination of bioCSL and its purchase of Novartis’ flu vaccine business. CSL picked up Vifor Pharma late last year in an $11.7 billion deal for the nephrology, iron deficiency and cardio-renal drug developer.

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images)

Sen­ate Fi­nance chair con­tin­ues his in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to phar­ma tax­es with re­quests for Am­gen

Amgen is the latest pharma company to appear on the radar of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is investigating the way pharma companies are using subsidiaries in low- or zero-tax countries to lower their tax bills.

Like its peers Merck, AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyden notes how Amgen uses its Puerto Rico operations to consistently pay tax rates that are substantially lower than the U.S. corporate tax rate of 21%, with an effective tax rate of 10.7% in 2020 and 12.1% in 2021.

FDA ap­proves sec­ond in­di­ca­tion for As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi's En­her­tu in less than a week

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu scored its second approval in less than a week, this time for a subset of lung cancer patients.

Enhertu received accelerated approval on Thursday to treat adults with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, and who have already received a prior systemic therapy.

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J&J to re­move talc prod­ucts from shelves world­wide, re­plac­ing with corn­starch-based port­fo­lio

After controversially spinning out its talc liabilities and filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to settle 38,000 lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is now changing up the formula for its baby powder products.

J&J is beginning the transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, the pharma giant announced on Thursday — just months after a federal judge ruled in favor of its “Texas two-step” bankruptcy to settle allegations that its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. An appeals court has since agreed to revisit that case.

No­var­tis re­ports two pa­tient deaths af­ter treat­ment with Zol­gens­ma

Two children with spinal muscular atrophy have died after receiving Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy designed as a one-time treatment for the rare fatal disease.

The deaths, which resulted from acute liver failure, occurred in Russia and Kazakhstan, Novartis confirmed in a statement to Endpoints News. Having notified health authorities across all the markets where Zolgensma is available, it will update the drug label “to specify that fatal acute liver failure has been reported,” a spokesperson wrote.

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