Can you blamethem?
doesn’t wanttobe a drug companyanymore. The Swiss drug-maker, which earlier this year fully acquired its biotech subsidiary Genentech, says it will leave the USdrugmakers’ lobby, PhRMA, and will affiliate with the BiotechIndustry Organization. The
newspaper of New Jersey reports Roche boss SeverinSchwan turned down a personal appealfrom AstraZeneca kingpin David Brennan, this year’s PhRMA chair,to remain in thedrugmakers’ group. Concurrently, Roche’s UK unit won’tbe renewingits membershipin the Association ofthe BritishPharmaceutical Industry, reportsLondon`s
. The com-pany had beensuspended from ABPI last year following charges of impropermarketing practices on obesityRx orlistat (Xenical.)
announced it would withdraw systemic acne Tx isotretinoin(Accutane) from the US market, citing generic competition. And, per-haps there might have beenanother factor. “In addition,” the compa-ny added, in a statement, “Roche has been faced with high costs frompersonal-injury lawsuits that thecompany continues todefend vigor-ously.” Roche faces 5,000 outstanding claims pertaining to the Rx, which went off-patent stateside seven years ago.First, noAccutane. Now,
. This is shapingup as the worst meetingeverfor dermatologists attending the summer American AcademyofDermatology chinwag in Boston. The confab’s venue isthe Hynes Convention Center in Boston—where new laws pertaining to Rx marketing are set tocome in on July 1. Henceforth,Massachusetts willsay “nyet” to common promotional items such aslogo-bearingpensand coffeemugs, and the state will also protect itsphysicians fromhospitality offered bydrugmakers atcongresses andsymposia. Drugreps will stillbeable to provide meals in a doctor’soffice.
last-century, but drugmakers can’t seem to getenoughMSLs. PharmaForce International saysthe number of Medical Science Liaisons employed by12 statesideBig Pharmacompaniesgrewtonearly 2,000 lastyear, a 48 per cent increasein justfiveyears. Between 2006 and 2008, however, the US drug-biz was sendingpink-slips to 16,000 bag-carriers, shrinking theindustry field force by 15 per cent.
Just when drugreps
seemto be entering theendangered species list, here comesHollywood to makesthings worse. Remember thenot-quite bestselling book by formerPfizer detailer Jamie Reidy, entitled“Hard Sell: The Evolution ofa ViagraSalesman”? Actually, we’d forgottenit,too, untilwe learned A-listactorsJake Gyllenhaal and AnneHathaway havebeensigned tostar in thefilm version, setto begin lensing any day now, as they sayin *Variety.* Both appeared in the Oscar-winning horse opera “Brokeback Mountain.” Reidy’s original title was deemeda bit toostiff for cineplexmarquees, so themovie will be called “Loveand Other Drugs.” That’s okay with the author, whose real ambition,like all reps everywhere, is todirect.New data adds furtherevidenceto the theory thatdrug reps are a dis-appearing life-form. SK&A, a California-based consultancy, findsaccess to physician offices is rapidly becoming scarce. Between June2008 and the end of last year, the percentageofUS doctors who insistonrepshavinga pre-arranged appointmentrose to 38.5 per cent, from31.4 per cent. During the samesix-month period thepercentageof “no see” practices increased to 23.6 per cent, from 22.3 per cent.SK&A’s Physician Access survey was based on telephone interviews with 227,000 medical practices. Theconsultants say their survey responserate was 94 per cent. There is some regional disparity in thefindings. Doctors in thesouthernstates are more receptivetodrop-ins, and those in the west are less welcoming.Onequestion concerning
that has never beendefinitively answered is: Does it work? New research from theUniversity of NorthCarolina, which examined the effect on promo-tion ofIBS Tx tegaserod (Zelnorm, Novartis), provides the incom-plete answer of We`re not sure.` The US unit of Novartis invested US$127 millionpromotingZelnorm to MDs, and US$122 million inDTC. Aspike indoctor-visits followed, with an additional 1 millionnew patients turningupwith IBSsymptoms, within three months of thecampaign. Four-hundred thousand new IBSdiagnoses weremade. However, theeffect of the promotion was short-lived,and levels quickly returned tonormal. Researcher Dr. SpencerDorn says he concludes most ofthe new diagnoses wereattributable tothe heavy promotion to professionals. In theend, none of it mattered allthat much:Zelnorm was withdrawnfrom the US mar-ket in March 2007, followingreportsof side-effects.
The Chronicle of HealthcareMarketingJune 30, 2009
Anti-Diabetic Agent / InsulinResistance Reducing Agent
Pioglitazone (supplied aspioglitazone hydrochloride)(Actos, TakedaPharmaceuticals North America Inc.)
TAB(15mg, 30mg, 45mg)ORL
Lansoprazole (Apo-Lansoprazole, Apotex Inc.)
Tipranavir (Aptivus,Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada)Limited)
Updateto the Product Monograph -addition of 48/96week data;
Beta-Adrenergic ReceptorBlocking Agent
Atenolol (Atenolol, Pro DocLtée)
New manu-facturer and product name;
Emtricitabine (Emtriva, GileadSciencesCanada Inc.)
NOCs of Note:
Significant TPP approvalsof Rxsfor human use
What’shappening in drugmarketing