Pfizer this week debuted a new, consumer-friendly risk information presentation format in a DTC print ad appearing in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor.
"This is the first one out of the box," Pfizer spokeswoman Michal Fishman told MM&M. "We hope to have FDA approval for that format to be used in other print ads and also on the Web for our other medicines going forward."
The new Lipitor ad also features prominent presentation of risk information,promotes the drug as one of several treatment options including diet and exercise, and provides consumers with information on available assistance for paying for medications
through Pfizer's Helpful Answers program.
Pfizer said the ad is consistent with changes to DTC that it committed to in August to make its ads more effective at communicating risk and benefit information and reinforcing doctor/
Fishman said the ad is not part of a new campaign but will "fill in" as Pfizer prepares to unveil a new Lipitor campaign later in the fourth quarter of 2005. The new consumer branded and unbranded campaign was announced in October.
Pfizer has yet to announce an agency selection for the account.
Three agencies--JWT, Mcgarrybowen and Kaplan Thaler Group-- are understood to be in the running.
The incumbent, Merkley + Partners, was eliminated in an earlier round, as was Hill Holliday.
Cholesterol-lowering Lipitor is the best-selling prescription drug in the world, with sales topping $11 billion last year.U.S. sales accounted for $7.7 billion. Major media spending on Lipitor has jumped over the past four years, from approximately $50 million in 2001 to about $120 million
in 2004, according to figures from Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Spending in the first four months of 2005 totaled $35 million. Estimated billings on Merkley's portion of the business are $60 million to $80 million.