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Photo: Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Viagra is blue. Nexium is purple. Those color schemes have been integral to the drugs’ marketing, and thus their sales, and thus the billions of dollars they’ve made for their manufacturers. And those colors weren’t an accident.

“We typically select a brand’s colors palette and logo years before launch, based on deep customer insights," Eli Lilly told BioPharma Dive for this thorough exploration of the color-selection process.

Several factors affect drugmakers’ dye decisions, according to the report:

  • Drugmakers don’t want their products to be the same color as competing products.
  • The color of the pill itself integrates into the drug’s overall marketing scheme.
  • Regulatory requirements limit certain ingredients, which limits color options.
  • Different colors have different meanings in different parts of the world.
  • As with any other design choice, colors like red and orange suggest stimulus, while shades of blue imply serenity. So the color depends on what the drug does.

"If you have a product for, let's just say a dermatology product for psoriasis, you're not going to make the color red because that reminds people of inflammation. You're not going to use the color yellow for something treating an infection because that reminds you of pus," Dave Traini, the creative director at a health care advertising agency, told BioPharma Dive.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate pulls all-nighter on amendments to COVID relief package

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a marathon of amendments overnight into Saturday morning.

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.