After quite a media lift over the last few months, Gilead Sciences (75 points, No-Change over the prior month) has finally leveled off a little after the mounting coverage of Sovaldi (62 points, up +2), the company’s new blockbuster drug for treating Hepatitis-C (81 points, up +1).

Since our metrics may be new to some our non-subscribers reading this blog post, the bracketed metrics in the prior paragraph represent the media TrendSignal (change from prior month and current value) for Gilead Sciences, Sovaldi and Hepatitis-C respectively.

Here’s a quick look at at both brands and the underlying disease, Hepatitis-C:

Gilead Sciences has been on an amazing media trajectory for a Pharma brand.  But with negative media momentum and a correction marker in April 2014, the brand is long overdue for a correction.  The company’s blockbuster Hepatitis-C drug has fueled much of the media attention on the company brand as shown below.  Momentum for Sovaldi dipped below the “surge” level for the first time this month, suggesting that both the drug and manufacturer may be heading for correction next month.

And how about the underlying disease itself, Hepatitis-C?  While helping Genentech with their media analytics works a few years ago they made it pretty clear that in the pharma business you market the disease, not the drug.  Let your distribution channel handle drug sales.

First, TrendSignal is at a strong 81 points, up +1 over the prior month.  Growth over prior years is averaging around 9%, pretty normal for a mature disease with consistent media coverage.  Selling a drug into a disease category with an 81 media score is a nice position to be in.  Both social and traditional media prominence values are high, laying nice ground work for Sovaldi sales programs.

What’s the play for Gilead Sciences?  

Continue to monitor disease coverage.  Hepatitis-C coverage has been averaging a 70-80 TrendSignal score for nearly 2 years.  There are signs that it may be due for a media correction, i.e. too much coverage can be followed by a saturation drop-off.  Yes.  Even the media gets bored with its own editorial agenda.

Sovaldi is riding a nice media wave.  There is one media correction point at 4.2014 and another near correction point at 8.2014.  Both suggest that the advancing coverage may be due for a downturn.

And how about the Gilead Sciences corporate brand?  It appears to riding on the coattails of the Sovaldi drug brand, which shows the importance of monitoring the continuing media coverage and relative competitive position of Sovaldi and Hepatitis-C in the media.