Sanofi said Tuesday that its diabetes sales would be flat for 2015, thanks to payer contracts. Lantus, the company's top-selling drug with more than $7 billion in 2013 sales, was able to win reimbursement in 90% of the U.S. market, CEO Chris Viehbacher--departed as of today--said during the third-quarter earnings call.
Want a surefire way to shake up a drug market? Introduce new medication options that make it easier for patients to manage their disease. MS drugmakers would know; their market is all of a sudden full of them.
For one, a game-changing trio of pills is providing an alternative to injections. Novartis' Gilenya hit first in September 2010, followed by Sanofi's Aubagio and Biogen Idec's Tecfidera. Two of those three, Gilenya and Tecfidera, nabbed spots on our list of Top 15 drug launch superstars after hitting the ground running. They're primed to keep moving up the food chain, too.
Drugmakers raise U.S. prices to make more money. This isn't a surprise to anyone. It's a basic business strategy, and the U.S. market is among the few where pharma companies still have considerable pricing power. But thanks to a steady flow of expensive new cancer therapies--and a public brouhaha over the cost of next-gen treatments for hepatitis C--drug prices are on center stage.
Prominent cancer doctors have balked at adopting a new Sanofi drug, Zaltrap, because they decided its benefits weren't worth the cost. Pharmacy benefits managers, notably Express Scripts, have nixed drugs from their formularies in favor of competing--and less expensive--options. And Gilead Sciences' pricing poster child Sovaldi has private payers and government programs so spooked, they're considering limiting its use to the sickest patients, at least until they can use soon-to-be-approved rivals to negotiate better pricing. Click here to read the full report on FiercePharmaMarketing >>
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Targeting different markets naturally requires using different marketing strategies. But for Novartis, which is aiming to become a major respiratory player, its approaches within and outside the U.S. could end up being worlds apart.
Big Pharma has plenty of apps up for grabs, with companies like Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim and Johnson & Johnson rolling out flashy new products to pique consumers' interest. But as it turns out, not too many consumers are downloading them.
Anyone following the hepatitis C drug market knows that Express Scripts CMO Steve Miller has a strong point of view. He's been quite vocal about Gilead Sciences' pricing on Sovaldi, the first in a new generation of oral treatments. Now, he's turned to the Gilead follow-up to that drug, a combo med dubbed Harvoni that aims to take the place of older cocktails.
In a terse statement Wednesday morning, Sanofi's board said it had unanimously voted to fire Viehbacher, who has led the company since 2008.
Brace yourselves for layoffs at GlaxoSmithKline. The saga is familiar: An aging blockbuster loses steam to competing meds, and its maker gets out the cost-cutting ax to compensate. This time, the faltering drug is Advair, which adds some new twists to the story--including a warning to the whole pharma industry about formulary placement.