For former Endo sales rep Peggy Ryan, the pivotal moment came about three years into her employment with the Malvern, PA-based company. She was at a national meeting, where the topic of discussion was how to distribute off-label studies in an unsolicited way, she says.
Layoffs are always big news in pharma, as they are seen as an indicator of the health of the industry. Companies don't like to have to announce them, but when they decide to, getting plenty of attention becomes important. That is to impress upon investors that their CEOs are making the hard decisions needed to keep costs in line. Of course employees are interested. They know from the inside what is about to happen, and having lived through the awful anticipation, they want to see what the carnage is really going to be.
The patent cliff is often the big culprit. One might think that a one-to-one relationship could be graphed between what is happening with the patent cliff and layoffs, but that is not the case. Pharma analysis company EvaluatePharma has forecast that there were $41 billion in patent sales at risk in 2011, a year in which the top 10 pharma layoffs amounted to 26,500. In 2012, the peak year, EvalutePharma said a whopping $67 billion was at risk. In that year, the top layoffs tallied more than 34,600. Then in 2013, when at-risk sales fell to only $29 billion, we have a total for the top 10 of nearly 27,900. Click here to read the full report on FiercePharma >>
Chatting with the public is not in pharma's comfort zone. Drugmakers are adept at the one-way communication known as direct-to-consumer advertising, and some of them deal well with the media. Some even know how to work with patient groups. Back-and-forth with doctors? Pharma's daily bread.
But put your average, everyday drug company in the middle of a public conversation, and it freezes up. In fact, of the 50 largest drugmakers worldwide, only half even dabble in social media. Only 10 use all three of the oldest, biggest social sites--Facebook, Twitter and YouTube--according to a new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. And within that small group, few are actually interacting with patients and the public. Click here to read the full report >>
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No such thing as bad publicity? Zogenix might disagree. Preparing to roll out its powerful new painkiller, Zohydro, the company faces an outcry about its addictive potential. So, Zogenix is scrambling to defend itself and the drug, with promises of a tempered, careful launch.
Sanofi's Genzyme unit isn't offering details about its sales of Kynamro, the rare disease treatment approved last January. It's not allowing its development partner, Isis Pharmaceuticals, to dole out specifics, either. What is certain, according to Isis COO Lynne Parshall, is that the launch started off slowly, and Genzyme has expanded its sales force to step up the pace.
Are drugmakers rethinking their use of physician speakers? The latest round of payment numbers suggests that they might be, with speaking fees down by 40% or more at some Big Pharmas, according to Pro Publica. And GlaxoSmithKline has actually said it's planning to stop paying those fees.
Teva is on a mission. The goal: switch as many multiple sclerosis patients as possible over to the new version of Copaxone before the current product loses patent protection in May. So far, Teva has reached 85,000 of them; to do so, Bloomberg reports, the company has started emailing patients registered with its 24-hour patient-support hotline.
Bayer knows what a good launch can do; with blood thinner Xarelto and eye drug Eylea, it's had a couple of the recent best. Thanks to that pair of hot-selling meds, the German pharma raised the sales forecast for its new products by €2 billion late last week--and it's raising its marketing budget along with it.
Japan's health ministry is one of the world's toughest when it comes to demanding truth in advertising. Violators can be thrown in prison. And the newest target of its scrutiny is Takeda Pharmaceutical, which is now admitting it may have mismarketed its hypertension drug Blopress.