GSK sees smokers return to patches, gum
GlaxoSmithKline is seeing a “leveling off of the impact” of Chantix on sales of its behind-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) amid concerns about the safety of the smoking cessation drug.
The maker of Nicorette gum, Nicoderm CQ patches and Commit lozenges said sales of its NRT products took a hit with the debut of Chantix in August, 2006 as would-be quitters gave the novel Pfizer drug a try. But with worries about possible neuropsychiatric and other side effects of Chantix seizing headlines, GSK's NRT franchise is again seeing growth.
Advertising support for the GSK products is greater for this year than last, though budgeting preceded Chantix's recent troubles, a spokesperson said. In September, the “Tame the beast” TV ad campaign for the three brands, by Arnold Partners, will return to the air, and further advertising plans are in the works.
Pfizer pulled Chantix branded ads in January but is back on air with its unbranded “My time to quit” campaign. In May, the Wall Street Journal, citing Wolters Kluwer Health data, reported that new prescriptions for Chantix had fallen 55% since the beginning of the year.