Paxlovid, the on-patent, antiviral drug Pfizer fast-tracked for COVID-19 early treatment after a year of insisting there was no reliable early treatment for COVID-19, has been getting some marketing attention recently.
When early reviews started to trickle in, the terms “rebound COVID,” and “Paxlovid mouth,” framed Pfizer’s shiny new early treatment option as ineffective with questionable efficacy.
The product still doesn’t work and has multiple side effects
So, for the past month or so, Pfizer has re-launched and attempted to re-brand Paxlovid. We’re guessing the creative brief was “Make it more human” so this time the ad itself drops the previous animation in favor of live-action actors representing patients in “high-risk” categories. An overweight Caucasian woman, an over-50 African American man, and an asthmatic Hispanic man declare that, with their risk factors, “If it’s COVID, Paxlovid.”
Side note: neuroscience research has shown that rhyming statements are more memorable and persuasive.
Another noticeable difference in this new Paxlovid campaign is the honest-to-goodness warning at the end of the 1:30 spot, which accounts for more than half the script.
PAXLOVID may strengthen or weaken other medicines. Taking it with certain medicines may cause life-threatening side effects or affect how PAXLOVID works. So, it’s critical to tell your doctor about all medicines you take, including herbal supplements because lab tests or changing the dose of your medicines may be needed.
Tell your doctor if you have any serious illnesses, allergies, liver or kidney disease, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or use birth control. PAXLOVID may affect how your birth control works.
Don’t take PAXLOVID if you’re allergic to nirmatrelvir, ritonavir, or any of its ingredients.
Serious side effects can include allergic reactions, liver problems, and issues with HIV medicines.
Other side effects include altered taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure, muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, and feeling unwell.
Worthy to note such disclaimers are absent from all COVID-19 vaccines. Is Big Pharma serving up its new and improved early treatment option with a side of risk management and damage control?