Xeljanz (Tofacitinib) Rheumatoid Arthritis Commercial

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Xeljanz TV commercial puts new kick in RA ads?

Xeljanz commercial emphasizes feet

Arms were made for hugging. Hands for holding. Feet, kicking. Better things than the joint pain and swelling of moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis.” So begins the new Xeljanz direct to consumer TV ad. It’s rather different from the other Rheumatoid Arthritis drug commercials:

  • It is black and white, except for the Xeljanz red.
  • Feet co-star with hands.
  • The message is rather philosophical, suggesting, “Life shouldn’t be painful & impossible.”

What do you think? Is the Xeljanz ad an improvement? Does it matter?

Patients have had some strong opinions about the ads for Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs, probably because they serve as a surrogate public service announcement. (The lack of an actual TV PSA is an interesting story we’ll revisit sometime.) What do you think about the message of the Xeljanz ad?

Recent news on Pfizer’s Xeljanz (tofacitinib)

  • In July, Xeljanz was approved in Switzerland, Argentina, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates.
  • 61 percent of U.S. rheumatologists surveyed said they had prescribed Xeljanz, but only in an average of six RA patients. Three-fourths reported starting Xeljanz in five or fewer patients.
  • Rheumatologists reported nearly 1/4 of current Xeljanz patients have never used biologics. This means they tried Xeljanz first after methotrexate failure.
  • According to BioTrends, patients report “high satisfaction” rates and low “discontinuation rates.”
  • In July, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed its April 2013 opinion to recommend against approval of Xeljanz (tofacitinib) for the treatment of adults with moderate to severely active RA. CHMP recognized that Xeljanz treatment can reduce “signs and symptoms of RA” and improve “physical function of patients,” but there were safety concerns, including “serious infections.” Read more about the Xeljanz CHMP rejection here on RAW.
  • Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceuticals launched Xeljanz in Japan in late July; it had been approved earlier in 2013.

Xeljanz was approved by the FDA for sale and marketing to consumers in the U.S. in November 2012 – click here.

Compare Xeljanz commercial with an old Enbrel ad

What do you think? Piano. Happy music. People doing things we all want to do. Not famous like Phil, but not too dissimilar in a message about getting back to doing things that you want to. It differs from the Humira ads’ emphasis on possible joint destruction. But, remember that Xeljanz was approved to treat “signs and symptoms” of RA. Pfizer did not have sufficient evidence to claim that Xeljanz inhibits disease damage. That was the crux of the EMA decision, and unquestionably why the Xeljanz ad emphasizes symptoms.

Recommended reading

Asian Scientist. Oral Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment XELJANZ Launched In Japan. 2013 Aug 6 [2013 Aug 18]. Available from: http://www.asianscientist.com/tech-pharma/oral-rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment-xeljanz-launched-japan-2013/Warner, M. Pfizer’s Arthritis Drug Xeljanz Approved in Switzerland, Argentina, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates. Wall Street Journal. 2013 Jul 15 [cited 2013 Aug 18]. Available from: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130715-702643.htmlReuters.BioTrends Research Group press release. Exton, PA. 2013 Jul 25 [cited 2013 Aug 18]. Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/pa-biotrends-pfizer-idUSnPNPH52891+1e0+PRN20130725Pfizer press release. CHMP Confirms Prior Opinion Regarding Marketing Authorization in Europe for Pfizer’s XELJANZ (tofacitinib citrate).  Wall Street Journal. 2013 Jul 25 [cited 2013 Aug 18]. Available from: http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130725-915749.html

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 4:44 am and is filed under The Real Rheumatoid Disease. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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