When do rising drug prices not equal rising sales? When payers step in to control costs--and that's exactly what they've been doing. The latest: Express Scripts and CVS Caremark are kicking two Horizon Pharma drugs off their formularies as of Aug. 1--and plan to exclude them completely next year.
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 >>
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 on FiercePharmaMarketing >>
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Drugmakers cheer when doctors' groups revise treatment guidelines to include new drugs. What happens when these powerful professional associations change those recommendations unfavorably? If you're AstraZeneca's MedImmune business, you fight back with sensational newspaper advertising. Read more >>
Advertising experts have a few tricks up their sleeves when concocting a drug's proprietary name, which might just thrust the product to astounding success. And now, the FDA is hinting that it might allow drug companies to reserve these names in advance--with a few rules.
GlaxoSmithKline needs its respiratory blockbuster hopefuls Breo and Anoro to fill in where aging giant Advair is dropping off. Thing is, their launches aren't going as well as expected--and some analysts are pointing fingers at GSK's new quota-free sales model as the reason why.
Merck's patent cliff has the company struggling to cut costs while it scrambles to make up for lost revenue, and sales and marketing has been no exception. Now, the job-cutting ax has come out for Merck's U.S. field force, where 600 positions will be chopped by August. Most at risk: Pennsylvania-based sales folks focused on declining primary care meds.
Bayer's drug business has been on a roll, thanks to some serious growth in its 5 newest products, including the clot-fighter Xarelto and the PAH med Adempas.
What's better than beating sales estimates with a new drug? Blowing those estimates out of the water. Biogen Idec can celebrate that today, thanks to $700 million in quarterly Tecfidera sales.