Amgen relaunches Enbrel ads to explain psoriasis better

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Eight months after bowing to FDA pressure to pull the original spot, Amgen has launched a revamped television ad for Enbrel (etanercept) that it says better explains the product's
psoriasis indication to patients.
The ad is one part of a fresh campaign that began last month consisting of national cable and broadcast TV buys as well as print, Amgen spokeswoman Christine Cassiano
told MM&M. "Based on some of the comments from the FDA, we just want to make sure that certain aspects of the ad are clarified and patents have a full understanding of what Enbrel can do for them," she said.
Originally approved for rheumatoid arthritis, Enbrel gained the psoriasis indication last year. Saatchi & Saatchi handled the global launch, which conveyed a provocative attitude that seems to have grabbed the attention of both consumers and dermatologists.
Enbrel is Amgen's second-best selling product, with third-quarter sales of $668 million, a 35% increase over the same period last year. Amgen co-markets the drug with Wyeth. But commercials aimed at psoriasis patients had been on the air a few months when, last February, DDMAC director Tom Abrams sent a warning letter to Amgen.
He asserted that audio and video in the ads used the term "psoriasis" alone, without qualifying the level of severity, which could be confusing, because the drug, which carries a risk of serious toxicity, is approved for treating moderate to severe psoriasis.
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