Veramyst is GSK’s answer to Flonase going off patent.

“When Flonase went off patent, GlaxoSmithKline lost one of it’s major money-makers,” notes Pharmacy Mike, blogger over at Retail Pharmacy, Life, and General Lunacy. “Their response… Veramyst! Flonase is Fluticasone Propionate. Veramyst is the vastly improved fluticasone furoate.”

You may have seen the new direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads for Veramyst on TV. I have. The one piece of information my wife and I took away from that ad was “may cause cataracts”!

Very Strange Print Ad
Maybe that’s why GSK is running a very strange Veramyst print ad that is merely the “brief summary’ — which is neither brief, nor a summary — aka, patient package insert (PPI). The image above shows the ad just as it appears in the September 10, 2007, issue of Time Magazine. It’s prominently placed on a right-hand page within an editorial piece about John Edwards where you can’t miss it!

Note: Pfizer ran a “Viva Viagra!” print ad within the same article. This is your typical drug print ad (see image below). On the reverse side of the Viagra ad is the brief summary, which is in large font and easy to read (not shown in the image below).

Usually, in print ads, the PPI appears on the back side of the display ad (see my analysis of print ads: “Print DTC: How Does It Measure Up?“). Nobody usually reads the PPI precisely because it’s on the back of print ads and printed in dreadfully small font size — just like the Veramyst PPI depicted above.

When I first saw the very strange Veramyst print ad in Newsweek, I thought the printer messed up and forgot to print the display portion of the ad — you know, the nice big photo of a happy user of the product, big product shot, big benefit statement, some balance about side effects, like the Viva Viagra! ad.

But when I saw the ad again in Time Magazine, I knew it could NOT be a fluke.

Then, I thought perhaps the display ad was printed somewhere else in the magazine. But no! It is nowhere to be found!

I am only left with one conclusion: GSK purposely ran this “Brief Summary ad” for reasons that totally escape me.

If anyone knows the logic behind this, please let me and the readers of this blog know.