Allergan sales forces previously working on Glaxo-SmithKline headache drugs Imitrex and Amerge as part of a co-promotion will be reassigned to Botox, in support of the drug's new headache indication.
The move, first reported in the Orange County Business Journal and confirmed by a company spokesperson, gives Allergan a jump start with headache specialists, since the GSK co-promotion deal was “a very good way for Allergan to learn the headache market,” Allergan CEO David Pyott told the Journal. Crystal Muilenburg, a spokesperson for Allergan, told MM&M that sales forces will initially target neurologists, pain and headache specialists, to train them on Botox's “injection protocol and dosing regimen.” Muilenburg declined to estimate the number of reps that will support the indication, which received an FDA green light on October 15. GSK drugs Imitrex and Amerge have lost patent protection.
“A key challenge that we started addressing immediately upon FDA approval is reimbursement,” said Muilenburg. “As with many new drugs, reimbursement is not widely established for Botox in this new therapeutic category.” Physicians or patients looking for information on reimbursement can visit a dedicated website, call 1-800-44-BOTOX (option 4), or locate a Botox reimbursement business manager. Physicians can also sign up to receive forthcoming treatment records and case studies on the headache indication, as they become available.
Allergan paid $600 million to settle Justice Department charges of off-label marketing in September. Botox's headache indication, specifically, is for the prophylaxis of headaches in adults with chronic migraines. GCI Health has been awarded the PR account. Muilenburg declined to reveal other agency partners.