Amgen launches new Repatha DTC ad

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Video credit: iSpot.tv

Amgen has launched a new direct-to-consumer campaign for its cholesterol-lowering injection Repatha.

The campaign's first ad, Don't Stand Still, depicts two men, one pedaling on a bike and another walking on an escalator, but not traveling anywhere.  A voiceover then asks: “Not making any progress? You eat well and take the highest-dose statin you can, but still aren't getting where you need to be.” The voiceover then introduces Repatha as a “different way to reduce LDL.”

See also: When it comes to PCSK9s, payers resisted — and sales flopped

Amgen has spent $2.6 million airing the ad since February 27, according to estimates from iSpot.tv.

An Amgen spokesperson said the company developed the ad to underscore how Repatha can help certain patients lower their LDL-cholesterol when taken in conjunction with statin therapy. The company hopes the ad will encourage patients to talk to their doctor about treatment options.

See also: For statin-intolerant patients, what's next?

Repatha is a member of a new class of drugs, PCSK9 inhibitors, that dramatically lower patients' LDL, or bad, cholesterol. In January, a federal judge banned the sale of the only other PCSK9 inhibitor on the market, Sanofi and Regeneron's Praluent, as part of a long-running patent suit. Regeneron appealed the judge's decision, and, in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals granted a stay of the court's earlier decision. This will allow Sanofi and Regeneron to sell Praluent until the appeal has been fully adjudicated.

Sales of both drugs have been lackluster to this point. Praluent generated $111 million in sales last year, while Repatha brought in $141 million. Both drugs were approved in 2015 with a lot of hype behind them: At the time, analysts predicted eventual sales of more than $3 billion a year. 

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