Astra Zenaca’s use of Twitter to promote Tagrisso

  • Astra Zenica has been promoting Tagrisso via Twitter with an embedded video, but unless the awareness of the product is high it may be a waste of money.
  • The video is eye-catching but…

Astra Zenica is heavily promoting their lung cancer drug Tagrisso on Twitter with an eye-catching video, but antiquated FDA DTC rules make it less effective.

The Tweet has an embedded video that starts with an older couple and the words “Getting the diagnosis can be overwhelming”. It’s branded so AZ can’t mention that it’s a drug for a certain type of lung cancer which in turn will probably lead to a very high bounce rate for people who aren’t interested in the product.

Unless AZ has data that shows a high brand awareness of Targrisso the ad could be a wasted good effort. People who click on the ad, who are not in the target audience, are likely to either mute the Tweet or block AZ from their feed.

To me this ad clearly shows that the FDA is out of date when it comes to online ads. If this ad, for example, had mentioned lung cancer does the FDA really believe that patients are going to run to their Oncologist for an RX? In all likelihood they are going to learn more about the drug and see what others are saying on various social feeds.

Either we believe that DTC educates and informs patients and help them better treatment decisions or we go with the anti-pharma crowd who sees these ads as nothing more than an attempt to sell more drugs at a higher price point.

AZ deserves a pat-on-the-back for using Twitter but with their hands tied by antiquated FDA advertising guidelines there isn’t much they could have done. They might have been more successful in an unbranded ad leading to an unbranded website that talks about new lung cancer treatments. THAT would, I believe, lead to some great targeted traffic.