Lilly refreshes Cymbalta marketing, hires pain reps

Cymbalta is getting a new television spot and detailing push this month. The branded spot, created by Interpublic’s DraftFCB HealthCare, is running on network and cable programming with an emphasis on daytime and primetime, a Lilly spokeswoman told MM&M. The ad plays on the theme of “trying,” as in a man or woman striving to be a spouse or parent in the face of depression. A new DTC print ad for Cymbalta will debut this summer, as well, replacing the existing ad. The marketing makeover follows a new indication for generalized anxiety disorder, secured in February. At the beginning of this year, Lilly also established a specialty sales force for Cymbalta to promote the drug’s indication for diabetic nerve pain, received in 2004. That strategy takes Lilly squarely into territory inhabited by Lyrica, the Pfizer drug also approved for diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). In a recent conference call with analysts, Lilly said Cymbalta is “narrowing the share gap” with Lyrica in the DPN market. Going forward, the company expects to submit SNDAs for Cymbalta for fibromyalgia later this year and has begun studies in chronic pain. Cymbalta had $386 million in US first-quarter sales, up 88% compared with the first three months of 2006. Citing weekly data from IMS Health, Lilly said Cymbalta, an SNRI, has gained total prescription share, while Effexor, the SNRI from Wyeth, lost share during the first quarter, according to Lilly.