Allergan sales rise on "strong" DTC advertising

Allergan
Allergan

Allergan executives repeatedly told investors Thursday that strong sales of its specialty products can be attributed to recent investments in direct-to-consumer advertising.

Throughout the company's second-quarter earnings call, Allergan executives attributed strong sales of Juvederm Voluma, Botox, Restasis and Bystolic to the company's recent efforts in DTC.

The drugmaker's facial-aesthetics business grew 13.5% compared to the same period a year ago, according to Philippe Schaison, EVP and president of Allergan Medical, who noted that this growth—particularly for Juvederm Voluma and Botox—is “linked to very strong advertising.”

Bill Meury, EVP, branded pharmaceuticals, also said that the response for its latest DTC campaign for chronic idiopathic constipation drug Linzess is “exceeding industry norms.”

For Restasis, the company is focused on gaining market share in the artificial-tear market, according to Meury, who said Allergan hopes to continue to drive sales through in-office screenings for dry eye and bolstering primary-care education efforts.

He also noted that revenue for 12 of the company's 15 products are increasing at a double-digit rate in the US.

In the most recent MM&M Agency issue, Create Group, Eveo, Grey and Pacific Communications listed Allergan's Botox as one of their accounts. ICC noted that it lost the Botox business in the overactive bladder indication, saying that Allergan decided to take the business in-house. Pacific Communications and Beacon Healthcare Communications both listed Restasis as a current account. Pacific also works on Juvederm Voluma.  

When asked by an analyst if this level of branded growth is tenable, and if it may require additional investment to keep pace, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders said: “With respect to spending on DTC and otherwise, we always look at return on investment. [We] have no issue making [investments in DTC and sales force] so long as there is strong ROI.”

Saunders noted that the company has increased its aesthetic sales force by 75 positions following the acquisition of Kythera in June, saying it holds the largest sales forces in the aesthetics industry “by a large margin.”

Allergan kicked off its #ActuallySheCan campaign targeting millennial women last month, which, while unbranded, also offers information about an oral contraceptive, Lo Loestrin FE.