Heavyweights Fall Hard

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Following marginal gains of 2% in both 2006 and 2005, PERQ/HCI's Journal Ad Review indicates that spending in medical/surgical journals fell 7% during 2007. This decline resulted in an annual spend rate of less than $500 million, a figure which was actually below that reported in 2004.
On an advertising page basis, a decline of 7% was also seen. In addition, while the top five medical/surgical journals of 2006 (rank based on dollars) retained their respective positions in 2007, all reported double-digit declines. 
In fact, the total advertising page loss for the top five publications amounted to 18%. As a result, their overall ad page share has fallen from 12.1% (2006) to 10.7% (2007).
A review of the companies, products and therapeutic classes that make up the top 25 lists follows.
The Top Advertisers
Pfizer continued as the number one advertiser in medical/surgical journals even though advertising expenditures were cut by 15% due largely to significantly lower ad outlays for Caduet, Lyrica and Celebrex. Of note is that Pfizer still has five products in the top 25 list and clearly leads all other companies with an advertising spending share of over 10%. 
Wyeth held on to second place following a 48% decrease in spending due almost entirely to lower ad expenditures for Effexor XR, while Eli Lilly & Co. advanced from fifth to third even as advertising expenditures were reduced by 2%. 
Novo Nordisk, only one of seven companies in the top 25 that actually increased spending in 2007, climbed from eighth to fourth due largely to higher advertising spending for Levemir, while Merck slipped from fourth to fifth following a 26% spending cut due in part to a lower ad budget for its vaccine Gardasil.
Lower ad outlays for Namenda were largely responsible for Forest's drop from third to 6th, while a cut in spending for Rozerem contributed to Takeda Pharmaceutical's decline from 6th to seventh. AstraZeneca, which reduced spending on a number of products including Seroquel and Crestor, slipped from seventh to eighth. Novartis, now ninth, and SanofiAventis, now 10th, traded places as each cut spending by 31% and 32%, respectively.
Ad support for Vyvanse, a new ADHD medication from Shire US, was largely responsible for the company's move from 20th to 11th, while Roche Laboratories, one of four advertisers new to the top 25, climbed from 28th to 17th due to a big boost in spending for Herceptin, a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. 
Other companies moving into the top group include Genentech BioOncology, up from 30th to 20th following a 61% increase in spending that was generated in large part by higher ad outlays for Avastin, Astellas Pharma, up from 26th to 22nd, and Endo Pharmaceutical, up from 72nd to 24th, as advertising budgets were increased for the Lidoderm/Lidocaine Patch and Opana ER. The only other company in the top group that increased ad expenditures was Boehringer Ingelheim, up from 24th to 19th.
Companies missing from the top 25 include the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka joint venture that markets schizophrenia and bipolar disorder treatment, Abilify, down from 21st to 27th, the Pfizer/Boehringer Ingelheim partnership that promotes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease maintenance treatment, Spiriva, down from 19th to 31st, and the Amylin/Eli Lilly partnership that markets the type 2 diabetes treatment, Byetta, down from 25th to 32nd. TAP Pharmaceuticals is also off the list, down from 23rd to 39th, due to lower ad outlays for Prevacid.
The Top Products
Cymbalta, the most heavily advertised product in 2007, moved up from the number two spot as ad outlays increased by 12%, while Lipitor climbed from seventh to 2nd after Pfizer boosted ad spending by 25% for their largest selling product. Effexor XR slipped from first to third following a 63% spending cut, Lexapro advanced from eighth to fourth even though journal expenditures were unchanged, and Rozerem fell from third to fifth as advertising expenditures were reduced by 29%.
Levemir (Injection) moved up from 13th to 6th following a 42% boost in spending while Exubera, an insulin inhalation powder from Pfizer, jumped from 135th to seventh. Namenda and Lyrica each fell four spots to eighth and ninth, respectively, and Chantix, a relatively new smoking deterrent from Pfizer, advanced from 15th to 10th on an ad spending increase of just 2%.
Invega, a new antipsychotic from Janssen and one of three new products that made the top 25, was 11th while another new entry, Symbicort, an anti-inflammatory medicine for asthma from AstraZeneca, was 12th. Reliant's Lovaza, which ranked 21st in the list, was another newly advertised brand. 
Also moving into the top group was chronic idiopathic constipation treatment, Amitiza, up from 48th to 13th as the Sucampo/Takeda Pharmaceutical joint venture increased spending by 85%. 
Other products new to the top 25 include Roche's breast cancer treatment, Herceptin, up from 358th to 16th, Pfizer's Geodon, up from 45th to 17th, and Mirapex, up from 114th to 18th. 
Merck's relatively new type 2 diabetes drug, Januvia, moved up from 53rd to 23rd, Cephalon's Provigil, an antinarcoleptic, jumped from 76th to 24th, and Genentech's Avastin,  for the treatment of both metastatic colorectal  and breast cancer, climbed from 55th to 25th.
Products no longer in the top group include three from Pfizer: the high blood pressure and high cholesterol drug, Caduet; overactive bladder control treatment, Detrol LA; and Celebrex, an NSAID used to help treat arthritis. 
Also off the list are Abbott's rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Humira; TAP's Prevacid, for acid reflux disease (GERD); Sepracor's sleep aid, Lunesta; Sanofi Pasteur's treatment for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, Adacel; Bristol-Myers Squibb's HIV therapy, Reyataz, and Janssen's Risperdal, for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The Top Therapeutic Classes
Once again SSRI/SNRI's was the most heavily advertised therapeutic class even though ad outlays were reduced by 32% due largely to lower expenditures for Effexor XR. Cytostatic Drugs-Other repeated in second place as spending for this category was unchanged. A 7% increase in ad budgets moved Diabetes Insulin from fourth to third while Antipsychotics-Other slipped from third to fourth following ad reductions of 16%.
Ethical Drugs Miscellaneous-Other advanced from seventh to fifth following a 21% increase in spending. This gain came largely from Shire's Vyvanse, a relatively new treatment for attention deficity hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Gilead Sciences' Letairis, which is used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, and Celgene's Revlimid, which is used in combination with dexamethasone to treat multiple myeloma. 
Cholesterol Reducers Rx Statins moved up from 10th to 6th due primarily to higher expenditures for Pfizer's Lipitor while Cancer Therapy Products climbed from 14th to seventh following a 52% boost in spending. Non-Barbiturates Sedatives fell from fifth to eighth following a 46% budget cut, Alzheimer-Type Dementia was unchanged in ninth place even as spending was cut by 25% and Vaccines-Other dropped from 6th to 10th due largely to lower expenditures for Sanofi Pasteur's Adacel, used to help prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, and Merck's Gardasil, which protects against four types of the HPV virus.
In 2007, only three new categories moved into the top 25 versus seven in the prior year-ago period. Those advancing to the 2007 list include Beta Agonists, Aerosol, up from 144th to 15th due largely to AstraZeneca's Symbicort, Educational Seminars, up from 26th to 21st and Recruitment Ads, up from 41st to 24th. 
Drug classes dropping out of the top group were Smoking Deterrents Rx, down from 25th to 30th; Angiotensin II Antagonists-Alone, went down from 24th to 39th; and Biologicals Vaccines, down from the 22nd spot to 46th. 

Eugene M. May is director of marketing research at ACNielsen HCI
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