Otezla & Enbrel
Although these products have a presence in Canada, Otezla and Enbrel do not market to their Canadian consumers and this is significantly due to the country's regulations. However, the products are sold to Canadian consumers via online, different packaging, and third-party sales.
- Otezla is a product from Celgene Corporation, a US-based company, and the product is available in Canada. The company distributes its products, although a third party (Amgen) recently acquired marketing and distribution rights.
- The product is sold to Canadian consumers via online platforms like Canada Pharmacy Online and Canada Drugs Direct.
- Otezla is a medication prescribed for patients suffering from either psoriatic arthritis or plaque psoriasis, but it is not a cure. It only offers relief around the joints.
- The target audience is "adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis." The product is not for anyone who has not attained the age of 18.
- Sales delivery examples used over the last 12 months include online (over-the-counter [OTC]) marketing, Canadian packaging of the product, and third-party sales through Amgen.
- Enbrel is a product manufactured by Immunex Corporation, a company based in the US, and it is available in Canada. Unlike Celgene Corporation that still distributes its product, this manufacturer is not involved in the marketing of this product.
- Although this product is sold to Canadian consumers through online platforms like Canada Pharmacy Online, it must be picked up locally because "Enbrel should be refrigerated at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) and should not be shaken."
- Unlike Otezla that is shipped using Canadian packaging, Enbrel must retain its storage in the original carton. The product must also not be exposed to light or physical damage.
- The product is used as a treatment for different types of arthritis and psoriasis, and active ankylosing spondylitis.
- Target audiences are adults and children with the diagnoses mentioned above. Children aged two and above can be placed on Enbrel.
- Sales delivery examples used over the last 12 months include online marketing, the use of multiple brand names, and third-party marketing through Amgen.
We started our findings by looking through available marketing to Canadian consumers by Otezla and Enbrel by looking through the products' and the manufacturers' websites. After combing through the websites, including the media, support, and review pages, we couldn't find any information to suggest there was marketing to Canadian consumers. On Celgene (manufacturer and distributor of Otezla), its Canadian website, the product has no website of its own. But there is a website for US audiences only.
Secondly, we looked through third-party marketers like Amgen and online pharmaceutical retailers like Canada Pharmacy Online and Canada Drugs Direct. The intent here was to find out if Otezla and Enbrel are marketed to Canadian consumers. Although Amgen has a dedicated Canadian website, there was nothing to suggest marketing of either product to Canadian consumers. On its approved webpage for approved products in Canada, the company acknowledged that the existence of Canadian regulations put a limit on "the amount and scope of information" it can provide. The public is advised to consult with qualified health professionals for more information. Nothing on its media page is also indicative of the products' marketing to Canadian consumers. The sales of these products on online pharmaceutical platforms in Canada is not a pointer to marketing to the country's consumers. Like Canada Pharmacy Online pointed out, the sales of genuine Otezla "is neither endorsed nor authorized by the Celgene Corporation."
Lastly, we attempted using the social media handles of these two products to see how they market to their Canadian consumers. On Twitter, the #otezla and #celgene are associated significantly with the US market and none for Canadian consumers. While there is no known Facebook account for the product, it has six followers on Instagram with no reference to Canada. For any marketing available for Enbrel on Twitter, it is categorically stated on its page that such information is for "US residents 18 years of age or older." The product's Facebook and Instagram accounts did not also refer to Canadian consumers.
We concluded that these products do not market to their Canadian consumers essentially because of Canadian regulations guiding such practice.
However, we determined that the two products are marketed to their Canadian consumers via online and third-party marketing. While Otezla can be shipped directly after an order is placed online, Enbrel has to be picked up physically at a local store due to the need for refrigeration. Also, the acknowledgment of Canadian packaging for Otezla and multiple brand names for Enbrel suggests a similarity in sales delivery to their Canadian consumers.
The examples provided for the sales of these products are believed to have been used in the last 12 months because these examples are constant factors in the continuous sales delivery to Canadian consumers.