Pharma is spending big to advertise: $5 billion on TV ads

June 7, 2022

As social media platforms and apps continue to grow, so does the number of groups using those platforms for advertising. But not pharmaceutical companies, according to a new report.

Media Radar broke down Big Pharma’s advertising spending the past two years. The majority of its money, about $5 billion, is spent on television ads, while just $2 billion goes to print and digital ads.

Big Pharma also takes out ads in subscription print publications and historically focuses ads more on health care professionals. But that’s changed over time.

It’s now spending a lot of money to reach you, the consumer, in the magazines you read most. In 2020, People magazine was the print publication where pharma spent the most money, followed by Better Homes & Gardens. That said, spending on print ads decreased from 2020 to 2021 mostly because of the shift from traditional doctor’s appointments, where someone might pick up a magazine, to telehealth appointments.

Big Pharma’s ad spending was about the same from 2019 to 2020; it increased slightly in 2021. The industry spent the most money targeting patients who have more options and choices when it comes to medications. That made advertisements about diabetes drugs the top category, along with drugs that treat psoriasis and arthritis, according to Fierce Pharma.

What do you think about Big Pharma’s ads? Share your opinion and/or experience with Voices for Affordable Health.