Pfizer is set to roll out a DTC campaign for
smoking-cessation aid Chantix next week,
an executive said today.
Ian Read said the US debut, slated for Sept. 24, “should add
to our momentum” for Chantix (varenicline tartrate), which gained marketing
clearance last year under an accelerated, six-month review and generated $168
million in revenue during the first six months of 2007.
“We are just in the early stages of tapping into the
potential of this product,” said Read, a Pfizer VP and president of its Worldwide Pharma Operations, during the Bank of America Annual
Investment Conference today.
McCann HumanCare, tasked with the DTC account, deferred questions to the client. The McCann consumer
unit also handles Pfizer's Aricept and Viagra. Euro RSCG Life LM&P handles
professional work, while Cadient claims the interactive side.
In a second-quarter earnings statement, the company said nearly 2.5 million US patients
had filled prescriptions for Chantix as of June 15, comprising a little more
than 5% of US adult smokers. It has introduced new adherence tools to
physicians and is conducting pilot programs to reach patients in their first
month of therapy through pharmacy programs, as well as through its "GetQuit"
behavior modification program.
Pfizer added that it
has partnered with regulators and independent medical organizations and has supported
expanding coverage to uninsured patients.