Please explain Humira's switch from marketing a single indication to marketing the brand as a franchise.
Humira switched from marketing a single indication to being a franchise as it accumulated approvals for multiple indications. Abbott Laboratories started marketing Humira as a franchise drug focused on multiple indications between 2005 and 2008. As a result, Humira's sales and value rose in proportion to its number of FDA approvals.
Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.
HUMIRA APPROVAL HISTORY
According to Chicago Tribune, Humira has gathered 9 FDA approvals for different indications over the course of 13 years.
Rheumatoid arthritis, adults (2002)
Crohn's disease, adults (2007)
Chronic plaque psoriasis, adults (2008)
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, children (2008)
Ulcerative colitis (2012)
Crohn's disease, children (2014)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (2015)
Therefore, Humira became a multi-indication drug beginning 2005 after psoriatic arthritis was added to its initial indication for rheumatoid arthritis.
SINGLE TO MULTIPLE INDICATIONS SHIFT
Back in 2003 when Humira was still a single-indication drug, Chicago Tribune reported that Abbott planned to try a direct-to-consumer TV campaign for the first time. One of its targets was The Lifetime Network, which has a following of female viewers aged 35 and above. The article painted a picture of low-profile marketing, adding that "The company said it's unlikely Humira will even be mentioned in the ads. Abbott wouldn't disclose specifics, but it's common for drugmakers to simply talk about diseases or conditions and urge consumers to contact their doctors, a toll-free number or a Web site that would link patients to the company's drugs."
However, after receiving its approval for a second indication, Abbott Labs switched to a franchise approach for its Humira campaign. While I could not find an existing ad for Humira in 2005, I found that the pharmaceutical company ran into trouble around 2008 for an ad that claims efficacy in treating multiple indications. (This is the earliest advertisement that I could find indicating a shift to a franchise approach for this drug. The 2006 and 2007 ads I found marketed the drug for separate, single indications.) Law 360 reported in late 2008 that Abbott Labs was slammed by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a misleading Humira advertisement. The excerpt from the preview version of the article reported that the FDA accused Abbott Labs of suggesting "Humira is useful in a broader range of conditions or patients than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence..."
CBS also reported in early 2009 that Abbott Labs fired its advertising agency over the same commercial, which stated that the drug is approved for a technically different indication. The FDA pointed out that "broad, misleading statement of the indication and the accompanying graphic of the patient are presented very prominently and can be easily seen by viewers of the advertisement."
By 2010, Humira was already projecting itself as a strong franchise for multiple indications. MedAdNews reported that Humira was the 2010 Medicine of the Year, "showing its strength across all of its many indications, [while] new indications are being developed." PMEA also awarded Humira's campaign 'Count Me In' in 2010 as a franchise drug for multiple indications. PM Live commented that "Humira's opportunity was to demonstrate its broad range of efficacy in not only treating core disease but also in treating a number of common EAMs."
Between 2010 and 2014, Humira only increased its budget and spending on advertisement, coming in second to Cialis in 2014.
In 2016, FiercePharma reported that Humira (now owned by AbbVie, a spin-off of Abbott Labs) has maintained its spot as the highest ad spender. During 2015 to 2016, Humira was marketed for multiple conditions including arthritis, ulcerative colitis/Crohn's disease, and psoriasis. The drug franchise held the same top spot in 2017 followed by Pfizer's Lyrica and Xeljanz.
This 2018, The Street reported that AbbVie has taken steps to protect its Humira franchise from biosimilar competitors. Its latest actions included settling patent agreements with Biogen and Samsung.
iSpot.tv has tracked and compiled a total of 11 TV ads for Humira. Instead of individual screenshots, I have included a list showing thumbnail screenshots and title/core consumer message for each one.
• 'Chase What You Love' (2017)
• 'Body of Proof' (2016)
• 'Go Further' (2016)
• 'Food Drive' (2015)
• 'Body Improved' (2015)
• 'Volunteering' (2014)
• 'Dollhouse' (2014)
• 'At Work' (2013)
• 'Coach' (2013)
• 'Crushed In' (2012)
• 'Relieving Pain and Joint Damage' (2012)
All these ads and commercials emphasize a central message: a return to normal life thanks to Humira.
Knowledge Ecology International published a table showing Humira's revenue from 2003 to 2017. A jump in earnings can easily be seen after Humira was approved and marketed as a franchise drug for multiple indications.
2017 Q2 - $280 million
2017 Q1 - $852 million
2016- $1.5 billion (Psoriatic arthritis )
2015 - $2 billion (Ankylosing spondylitis)
2014 - $3 billion ( Crohn's disease)
2013 - $4.5 billion (Chronic plaque psoriasis, Juvenile arthritis)
2012 - $5.5 billion
2011 - $6.5 billion
2010 - $7.9 billion
2009 - $9.2 billion ( Ulcerative colitis)
2008 - $10.6 billion
2007 - $12.5 billion ( Crohn's disease)
2006 - $14 billion ( Hidradenitis suppurativa)
2005 - $16 billion
2004 - $4.1 million
2003 - $4.7 million
Again, the rise in Humira's revenue is directly proportional to its accumulation of FDA approvals as a franchise drug for multiple indications. In addition, HeatInformatics reported Humira to be the 6th bestseller drug of all time from 1996-2015.
To wrap it up, Abbott Laboratories switched from marketing Humira for a single indication to being a franchise as it won FDA approvals for new indications. Abbott began marketing Humira as a franchise drug focused on multiple indications between 2005 and 2008 after it was approved for its second indication psoriatic arthritis. Humira's sales and value then rose in direct proportion to its growing number of FDA approvals.