Purplepill.com, AstraZeneca’s website for heartburn treatment Nexium, generated the most site traffic among pharmaceutical brand websites in Q2, with more than a million unique visitors, up 55% from a year earlier, according to data from comScore.
Other top brands also showed substantial growth in the past year as a result of ramped-up marketing efforts and FDA activity. The diabetes drug Actos ranked second with 855,000 unique visitors, and insomnia medication Ambien CR, ranked third – with 756,000 unique visitors.
Other study highlights:
- Takeda Pharmaceuticals substantially increased marketing for the Actos brand beginning in Q3 2007, helping build actos.com into the second-most-visited site in the category in Q2 2008.
- Merck’s diabetes treatment Januvia increased marketing activity beginning in the second half of last year, resulting in a nearly 330% increase in visitors to januvia.com.
- Pfizer has ramped up marketing and public relations efforts for Lyrica since Q3 2007, when the product received FDA approval to be marketed for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The site, lyrica.com, has seen a 36% increase in unique visitors.
- With a number of migraine treatments nearing patent expirations, the makers of popular migraine treatment Topomax launched a heavy online display ad campaign to bolster awareness, resulting in a 38% increase in Q2 2008 vs. a year earlier.
- Merck’s highly publicized HPV vaccine Gardasil was approved by the FDA in Q2 2006. Although the number of site visitors has declined 21% during the past year since the company’s initial marketing and public relations push, the site still ranks among the top 5 mos-visited sites with 722,000 visitors.
“AstraZeneca has aggressively marketed Nexium this year, running approximately twice as much online display advertising in Q2 as either of its major competitors, Prevacid and Aciphex,” said John Mangano, senior director, comScore Pharmaceutical Marketing Solutions. “This additional marketing muscle appears to have helped generate strong site visitation, a very important marketing step in the competitive pharmaceutical industry.”