Takeda sees new Rozerem tact pay off

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The whimsical consumer campaign for Takeda's insomnia drug Rozerem has generated lots of buzz, but not the kind of recognition that generally leads to new patient starts. That may be changing.

While the original goal of the effort, by Chicago's Cramer-Krasselt and AbelsonTaylor, was to cut through the blizzard of Ambien and Lunesta ads, Takeda said it's evolving the campaign to drive trials of Rozerem.

The company says two new TV spots that debuted this year featuring the same offbeat cast of dream-inspired characters have prompted more patients to actually mention Rozerem by name when discussing treatment options with their physician.

“In the very beginning, you find yourself as being, in the mind of the consumer, ‘You're the product…with Abe Lincoln and the beaver,'” said Chris Benecchi, director of Rozerem marketing for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.

“Now ‘Rozerem' is coming through much more strongly,” Benecchi said.

Indeed, Takeda would like to see its entrant in the $3.9-billion prescription insomnia category step out from behind its marketing shadow. The company says momentum is on its side. US marketing partner TAP Pharmaceutical, whose reps joined forces with those of Takeda's US subsidiary in touting Rozerem to doctors, became “really integrated” earlier this year, Benecchi said. Stronger personal promotion efforts, combined with the two new DTC executions, helped Rozerem post its second straight quarter of modest growth.

First-quarter fiscal sales (April-June) doubled over the year-ago period to $30 million, Takeda said in a statement, followed by a sales jump of 78% or $26 million in the previous quarter.

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