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iSpot Data Reveals Just How Much Pharma Brands Are Spending on TV Advertising

Mounjaro and Ozempic, diabetes drugs being touted by Hollywood and TikTok for powerful off-label weight loss capabilities, are two of the newest top-spending brands

In March, prescription pharmaceutical brands spent an estimated $403.4 million on national TV advertising, according to recently released data from, the real-time TV measurement company. That’s almost twice as much as the second top-spending category for the month, automakers (est. $216.1 million), and a 16% increase from prescription pharma’s February outlay.

The subcategory of medication for psoriasis, skin & nails led the charge with an estimated $95.8 million on TV advertising. Across all pharma categories, AbbVie’s JAK inhibitor drug Rinvoq led the ranking of the top ten individual brands by estimated TV ad spend (est. $32.4 million), followed by Skyrizi, another drug from AbbVie, with $30.5 million. Paxlovid, Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral that received FDA committee support for full approval in mid-March, took third place with $30 million in estimated TV ad spend for the month, up from $16.3 million in February when national ads for it hit TV screens for the first time.

Month-over-month ranking newcomers included two diabetes drugs: Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro in fifth place with an estimated TV ad spend of $21.4 million, and Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic (No. 10, est. $10.1 million). Ozempic jumped into headlines last fall as an off-label miracle weight-loss drug being used by the rich and famous, and more recently Mounjaro has joined the news cycle with some declaring it the latest trendy contender to cure obesity.

Examining how Rx brands are prioritizing TV ad spend, news programming is a key area: Combined, the pharma industry spent nearly $15 million advertising during ABC World News Tonight With David Muir in March, generating 986.7 million TV ad impressions. NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News With Norah O’Donnell, Today and CBS Mornings also were in the top ten programs by spend for the industry.

News aside, pharma did not ignore March tentpole events: the industry spent $13 million on men’s college basketball, making it the No. 2 program for spend, and $10.5 million on airings during The Oscars telecast. is the market leader in real-time cross-platform TV ad measurement and attribution. The company’s always-on platform measures the business impact and brand impact of TV advertising and offers fast, accurate and actionable information that empowers brands to justify and optimize TV and video investments.