Since then I've become aware that Sepracor is continuing to run Lunesta reminder ads on prime time cable and network TV. While I am no Don Quijote anxious to tilt at windmills, I decided to make this is a test case of Pharma's (and PhRMA's) commitment to the DTC Principles and report back to readers of Pharma Marketing Blog.
First, I tried calling Jonae Barnes, VP of Investor Relations and Corporation Communications at Sepracor (her number is 508-481-6700). I've left several voice mails -- no response. I also sent her an email directly as well as through the online form located on the Sepracor Web site. No response.
I tried Amy P. Trevvett, Sr. Manager, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, by phone and email as well. At least I got a return email receipt form her and I will treasure it the rest of my life! Otherwise, nada.
OK, that windmill was a waste of time! Might as well go through appropriate channels and try PhRMA's Office of Accountability. Today, I sent that office a letter by certified (you can download it here), which points out the violations that I am aware of.
The following are approximate dates, times, and TV stations where these ads have appeared:
- Friday, April 21, 2006; approx. 10 PM; History Channel (Channel 53 in Philadelphia)
- Saturday, April 22, 12:54 PM, WCVB (Channel 5 in Boston)
- Tuesday, May 2, 2006; 7:55 PM; FOX; show: Seinfeld (Channel 2 in Philadelphia)
You can track these letters and be sure they were delivered by going to the USPS web site and entering one of these tracking numbers:
7005 1820 0005 2547 4505: Letter to Barberich
7005 1820 0005 2547 4482: Letter to Barnes
7005 1820 0005 2547 4499: Letter to PhRMA
At least this establishes a public record. Let's see if PhRMA is awake or asleep at the wheel (sorry, that's an Ambien side effect, not a Lunesta one) .