Get ready to see more drugs ads just about everywhere you turn

Ever hear of “pharmageddon”?

Well, neither did I. That is, until I found out that it was all over.

It might seem like the last few years have brought us a tidal wave of drug advertising. But what we were actually seeing was the tide going out.

It’s what the Mad Men of the ad industry have dubbed “pharmageddon.” By that, they mean a billion-dollar drop in business from Big Pharma over a five-year period.  This was mostly due to a wave of drugs losing their patent protection.

But the tide has now turned, and is rushing back in. And that has them jumping with joy.

The expected surge in drug advertising is thanks in large part to the FDA’s having approved 41 pharmaceuticals in 2014, more than in any year since the 1990s.

And the fact that 10 to 12 of the meds approved the year before were expected to become “billion-dollar blockbusters.”

In other words, we can expect to see a flood of drug commercials coming at us from every direction, everywhere we turn.


“’Pharmageddon’ ends as floodgates open for drug ads” Alexandra Bruell, January 13, 2015, Ad Age,