Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, March 31

Pfizer
Pfizer

Pfizer is the top pharmaceutical company in terms of ad spend, with a tab that exceeded $1 billion last year, Bloomberg reported. ED drug Viagra, blood drug Eliquis and RA medication Xeljanz—all of which ranked among the top five most advertised drug brands—accounted for $10.5 billion of Pfizer's 2014 drug sales. As reported by MM&M last week, the drug industry as a whole spent $4.54 billion on consumer advertising last year. As indicated by Bloomberg, this is a smaller investment than the close to $8 billion the industry spent on physician and hospital outreach, which includes grants and fees.

Pfizer‘s footprint also extends to protecting Lyrica's patent protection in the United Kingdom. A UK court ruled that doctors could not prescribe the drug for pain relief, reported The Wall Street Journal. The patent covering epilepsy and generalized anxiety disorder lapsed in July, but the patent protecting the pain indication runs into 2017.

This year's healthcare M&A activity stands at $75 billion, a total that includes Monday's purchase by UnitedHealthcare of Catamaran for $13.2 billion and Teva's $3.1 billion acquisition of Auspex Pharmaceuticals. Monday's activity accounted for about 25% of this year's total value, reported Bloomberg. The total could surpass last year's record volume of around $220 billion if the pace keeps up.

Actavis is selling its generics business in Australia to private firm Amneal Pharmaceuticals, reported Reuters. The companies did not disclose the sale price.

Cancer diagnoses decreased 1.8% every year between 2007 and 2011 for men and remained stable among women, according to a study by the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. The study showed a decline in the number of new cases of prostate, lung and colon cancers among men, and declines in colon, ovary and stomach cancers among women, Reuters reported. The findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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