Company news: Santarus beefs up sales force, Physicians Interactive gets patent

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Drug maker Santarus has increased its sales force to help market the high-cholesterol drug Fenoglide (fenofibrate). The 150 new employees will be part of an overall push for the drug that includes an e-voucher program that gives insured patients a $10 co-pay. The company has exclusive rights to market the drug in the US, according to a December agreement with Shore Therapeutics.

Physicians Interactive has the first patent for medication "eSampling," the company announced at the ePharma Summit. The company said the program gives docs access to a “virtual sample closet” that offers physicians access to more than what could physically fit into their offices. The company said the program will also reduce waste by not overloading practices with unwanted samples. CEO and Vice Chairman Donato Tramuto said the program also saves doctors the need for face time with sales reps, and allows the company to profile physicians for better outreach via samples, vouchers, coupons or a combination.

Researchers found that breast cancer drug Aromasin (exemestane) increases bone loss in post-menopausal women, Bloomberg reports. The results are from a study that found women lost about three times more bone than women who were taking a placebo over the course of two years, but was tested on women who were at high risk of developing breast cancer, as opposed to breast cancer patients. The Pfizer drug is currently approved to treat breast cancer patients and to be used to prevent recurrence. Bloomberg said the latest findings contradict other studies that show the drug does the complete opposite and actually builds bone.

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