Spending down for DTC television ads

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Spending by drug makers on network TV advertising dropped 10 percent in the first quarter from the year before, the sharpest quarterly fall-off in two years, according to a report in USA Today.
The industry spent $388 million on network TV consumer drug ads in the first quarter, down about $44 million from last year, according to numbers from Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
The 10 percent drop in network drug ad spending contrasts with a 4.2 percent first-quarter rise for network TV sales overall, Nielsen said.
Much of the spending decline came from several big DTC campaigns including:
*Viagra. Pfizer pulled TV ads in November after the FDA warned the ads were misleading.
*Prevacid. TAP spent nothing on TV ads for the heartburn medication in the first quarter, vs. $18 million last year.
*Celebrex. Ads for the drug were pulled in December following a study showing increased cardiovascular risks.
*Crestor. AstraZeneca spent $1.1 million on TV ads for the anti-cholesterol drug in the first quarter, down from $9.4 million last year.
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