Neulasta Changes Pace in TV Ads

Awhile ago (March 21) I wrote a blog about Big Pharma and how they spend more money on marketing than research. I listed a number of Big Pharma products advertised on television. Neulasta was one of the ads I reviewed.

I wrote: "Neulasta: 'Reduce your chance of infection."' [When in chemotherapy...this is the most annoying commercial to me. It shows a chemo patient eating wads of seafood. I couldn't even look at food; seems phony to me.]"

Neulasta, marketed by Amgen, finally changed the above TV ad campaign from something slightly outrageous to something more believable. Perhaps they changed it because their schedule said switch to the "Spring Ad Campaign" or maybe they changed it because of public outcry. There are several Google links high up on Page One for Neulasta that exclaim the above commercial is "...the most annoying commercial ever".

I tend to agree. Actually many women thought it was about two lesbians. I just thought it was phony and did not depict how sick and tired you are when you are having chemotherapy. Been there, done that!

The new Neulasta TV commercial shows a sick women, sloppily dressed, just about out of energy. She is helped around the house by her husband. She is given a glass of water (not wine like the first commercial, I believe.) This is the way a chemo patient looks and acts. They finally got a good actress for the role. I believed her. All except for one detail they got very wrong: hair.

The actress still has lots of hair. VERY few chemo patients make it through treatment with hair on their head. I did see one or two during my treatments, but it is a rare occurrence. But I'll give them that. It would be too scary to have a woman on TV with no hair. Neulasta could be confused with St. Jude's or The Phil Knight Cancer Center or some place like that, where they show brave bald-headed children fighting fatal cancers. All things considered, the hair is OK. The second commercial is not totally realistic either, but it is a BIG improvement. Hopefully the product is helpful to cancer patients.

Small kudos to Neulasta.


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