Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs for 1998 hit $1.2 billion through November, according to IMS Health, Westport, Conn. The top DTC spenders invested 44% more in advertising to consumers than in reaching physicians, $665 million vs. $462 million. Of the top 10 DTC spenders, six invested more than half their total promotional budgets to reach consumers. The top-spending brand was Schering-Plough Corp.'s Claritin, with a $182.9 million DTC investment through November, via WPP Group's Common-Health USA, Parsippany, N.J. Claritin spending was more than double that of the same period the previous year. Professional promotion for Claritin also increased, by a more moderate 18%. Claritin's total promotional investment grew 96% during the period, IMS noted.
Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.