Pfizer remains the industry’s top promotional spender, despite a 12 percent drop in spending to $6 bil-lion in 2011. That puts the New York firm well ahead of No. 2 Novartis, which cut marketing and ad-vertising spend by 10 percent to $5 billion, and was followed closely by Merck ($4.9 billion, down 7 percent over 2010). Just two of the top ten advertisers in the sector No. 4 AstraZeneca and No. 6 Boehringer Ingelheim increased spending. AstraZeneca marketers saw a 5 percent bump to their budgets, which totaled $4.2 billion, while Boehringer dialed up its promotional spending by a whop-ping 19 percent to $3.3 billion.
AstraZeneca’s Crestor was the best-supported brand. The statin’s $1.1 billion in promotional spend (un-changed from 2010) accounted for 1.2 percent of all industry promotional spend. Billion-dollar brands (or thereabouts) included Lilly’s Cymbalta, Boehringer’s Pradaxa and GSK’s Seretide.
Cuts to sales force numbers continued. Pfizer cut around 11 percent of its field force, estimated at more than 20,000, while Novartis wrought a 9 percent reduction in reps and Merck cut 7 percent of sales posts.
Detailing comprises 60 percent of all promotional spending. DTC advertising, which makes up 9.2 per-cent of spend, rose by a percentage point, while spending on meetings, which makes up 14.4 percent of promotional budgets, sank 4.1 percent, and spending on samples, which accounts for 10.3 percent of spend, was flat. Clinical trials, costing 2 percent of promotional budgets, slid 15.1 percent in 2011, and professional advertising, worth .8 percent of spending, slid 12.5 percent.