Biogen recruits Jamie-Lynn Sigler for Tecfidera campaign
Sigler has written four blog posts for the campaign's website.
Biogen enlisted TV actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler in a new phase of a campaign for its multiple-sclerosis drug Tecfidera just months after it stopped running a DTC ad for the same drug.
The Reimagine MySelf campaign consists of a website and Biogen-hosted local events in Los Angeles and Houston, featuring its celebrity spokespeople.
Biogen ended its DTC campaign for Tecfidera in July, when executives said the campaign did not boost prescriptions for the drug. A former Biogen patient consultant had criticized the ad saying that it misrepresents the disease.
The Reimagine MySelf campaign originally launched on the health magazine Self's website in June 2015. The new phase of the campaign launched in September when Sigler joined as a paid spokesperson.
The site also features two other spokespeople for the campaign: Jeannie Mai from daytime TV show “The Real,” and chef Ben Ford. Sigler has written four blog posts on the website and said in her first post that she uses Tecfidera to treat her relapsing-remitting sclerosis. Sigler revealed in January that she had been diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago. A Biogen spokesperson confirmed she has been taking Tecfidera since December 2013.
Biogen hired GCI Health for the campaign's public relations and CDMiConnect for advertising.
Sigler spoke at the event in Los Angeles, giving attendees a chance to hear about her battle with the disease as well as learn about Biogen's patient services program, which is known as AboveMS.
“Jamie decided she was at a point in her life where she needed to reimagine how she could take control of her disease,” a spokesperson for Biogen said in an email. “For Jamie, that meant having an honest conversation with others about her relapsing MS, asking for help, and finally sharing her story with the world.”
Biogen has more than tripled its advertising spending for Tecfidera this year, doling out $62 million in the first half of 2016, while it spent just $17 million in the same six-month period last year, according to Kantar Media.
Tecfidera brought in U.S. sales of $1.5 billion for the first six months of 2016, compared to $1.3 billion in the same period in 2015. Biogen attributed the rise in Tecfidera's U.S. revenue to an increase in price. U.S. physicians wrote 110,000 prescriptions for Tecfidera from July to September of this year, down from 117,000 in the previous three months.
While Tecfidera's sales are on the rise, the overall market for multiple-sclerosis drugs has begun to shrink. Biogen chief commercial officer Michel Vounatsos said during the company's third-quarter earnings call that the overall MS market had a 2% decline in commercial patients in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the same three-month period last year. Vounatsos also noted that Tecfidera continues to hold 51% of the current oral multiple-sclerosis treatment market. Novartis and Sanofi also market competing oral MS drugs, Gilenya and Aubagio.