$70 Mil. Humira in Play

NEW YORK Abbott Labs is reviewing the ad account of its Humira arthritis medication, according to sources. The incumbent is Omnicom Group medical specialty shop Harrison & Star, based here.
Executives at the incumbent were not available for comment, and it could not immediately be determined if H&S was defending. A client rep said only: “This is not the kind of thing we talk about. I can’t confirm or comment.”

Last year, Abbott increased ad spending on Humira 13 percent to $70 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
In addition to arthritis, Humira is also used as a treatment for psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.
In December, the Food and Drug Administration warned Abbott about a Humira trade advertisement, saying it minimized the drug’s risks. The FDA also said the doctor-targeted ad was misleading because it suggested Humira could be used to treat a wider group of patients and conditions beyond the FDA’s approval of the drug.
The use of Humira is also linked to tuberculosis and other infections and a warning is included on its label.

The ad in question ran in Dermatology News last year. The FDA said the warning was shown in “extremely small font size” that was “extremely difficult” to read, while the promotion of Humira’s benefits was featured in large images and text. That ad is no longer in use.