If Albert Einstein was right and “creativity is intelligence having fun” then there is one happy lawyer at Allergan. Last week Allergan, using a move John Grisham would be proud of, transferred its patents on a best-selling eye drug (Restasis) to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York. The tribe will then lease the patents back to Allergan. Yep, you read that right. Not bad, first gambling, now patent laundering (you heard that phrase here first). Allergan will pay the tribe $13.75M upfront plus $15M annually as long as the patents remain valid. FYI, Restasis sales were $1.4 billion last year. Obviously, the Mohawk Tribe has no reservations about the transaction. If we are being honest, it’ll be kind of funny when Indian generics companies start suing Indian tribes.
Rosacea sufferers know how embarrassing it can be to have people always ask if they’re alright or if they’ve eaten something to make them break out. Allergan has recently begun a press tour for newly approved Rhofade to treat facial erythema, more commonly known as facial redness or rosacea. As is becoming the trend, Allergan has gone the route of a celebrity endorser. Actress and Tony Award winner Kristen Chenoweth is the literal face of their new campaign. Their slogan “Less Red, More You” makes us think about other times famous people’s faces have changed colors. On that note, do you think Donald Trump was born orange or is that a look he’s cultivated?
It’s official. Pharma marketing departments are now run by 8-year-olds. Two weeks ago, InsightCity reported on Synergy Pharmaceutical’s Poop Troop campaign. Now, Allergan is having fun with poo. They recently launched a new campaign called Toilet Talk to raise awareness of bowel issues—Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea, to be unnecessarily specific. Wendy Williams will be the face of the cringing campaign. “She’s very honest and candid. She also likes to joke around and see the humor in things,” said Aimee Lenar, VP, gastroenterology at Allergan. Well, that’s just great. I guess the days when men don’t manscape and ladies don’t poop are a thing of the past. What’s next? Poop-themed parties for little girls? As we always say sometimes, you can’t make this crap up.
It’s not uncommon for big brands to recruit celebrities to help humanize and sell products. Speaking of what’s common, Allergan has recruited the rapper, Common, to star in a video for their new campaign called SeeAmerica, which is designed to raise awareness and fight vision loss through preventative care and medicine. The drug maker, which produces glaucoma-fighting treatments Lumigan and Alphagan, hopes that the raised awareness will encourage people to take fighting vision loss more seriously. “I’m proud to join Allergan in the fight against preventable blindness,” said Common, “Sight is something that far too many of us take for granted.” Common, we see and agree.
Allergan. That’s who. Last week, Allergan announced its acquisition of Zeltiq and its flagship CoolSculpting system. CoolSculpting is the system you’ve see in ads. It cools fat cells underneath the skin, which then freeze and die, resulting in a whole new you! It’s almost like Allergan thinks we live in a society of increasing vanity. Add fat freezing to Allergan’s portfolio that already includes Botox, Kybella (injection to treat double chin), and other aesthetics and plastic surgery offerings and what do you get? A one-stop-shop for pulling off that sweet, sweet Joan Rivers look you’ve always wanted. Just kidding… Kind of…
For years, people have received Botox injections to look younger and feel better. There might be more to “feel better” than folks realized. According to Allergan R&D chief, David Nicholson, a recent Phase II investigator initiated trial for the drug is showing promise and, if replicable, will “be really valuable in psychotherapy.” Quick question: is the couch really where a person wants to receive an injection? Nicholson isn’t worried about that, stating, “I have no doubt in my mind the psychiatric community will embrace it and will start giving…injections.” Future ads might say, “let Botox turn that frown upside down.” But if nothing else, the frown will look more youthful.
Drug innovation post-pharma mergers drops faster than Ryan Lochte’s credibility post-Olympics according to a study published by the Harvard Business Review. Researchers analyzed 65 pharma deals and found that innovation declines post-merger, both within the merging companies and among competitors of the new entity. The data show that patenting and R&D spending among competitors drops by more than 20% within four years after the merger. Researchers theorize this innovation decline among competitors occurs because the merger has created one less rival competing in the same therapeutic area. Thus, less push to innovate. With increasing awareness of the impact on innovation, we’ll see if regulators are quicker to put the kibosh on future mergers.