AstraZeneca cuts back on detailing

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AstraZeneca has dramatically scaled back its U.S. detailing efforts this year, according to a report by JP Morgan.
Visits to doctors by AstraZeneca salespeople dropped 23 percent in the first half of this year to 1.4 million visits, said JP Morgan analyst Craig Maxwell in the report to investors Tuesday.
"The detailing volume of Crestor is now around half the level of Lipitor and a third of the combined level of Vytorin and Zetia," Maxwell said.
Sales visits for the heartburn drug Nexium, AstraZeneca's top-selling product, decreased 14 percent and visits for heart drug Toprol were down 33 percent, according to the report.
GlaxoSmithKline has also scaled back its sales activities this year, Maxwell said.
GSK detailing has declined 15 percent. The difference was accounted for by a reduction in Paxil CR and the Avandia franchise during product withdrawals due to manufacturing issues earlier this year.
Novartis and Roche's detailing efforts remained flat, the report said, while Sanofi-Aventis has increased sales efforts by 13 percent fueled by increased sales efforts surrounding Ambien in response to the launch of Sepracor's Lunesta.
An AstraZeneca spokeswoman told MM&M that the company has undertaken measures recently to increase its "sales-force effectiveness." Those measures have led to a 37 percent increase in sales per rep, the spokeswoman said.

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