Five stars for the New Year

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James Chase
James Chase

While I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions, I do enjoy the general wave of optimism that January brings. If nothing else, it's a good time to dream about what might be possible over the next 12 months, and to plot a path to get there. If you need inspiration, look no further than our All-stars coverage in this issue where you'll find five great industry success stories from the past year. Here, in a nutshell, is why each won:

Company of the Year: Amgen

This is the tale of a glorious comeback. At the start of last year, Amgen was preparing to lose two big erythropoietin drugs—Epogen and Neupogen—to the patent cliff, with a third, Neulasta, to follow in 2015. That's $5.8 billion in global sales altogether. Not only that, it had just paid more than $800 million in claims settlements to the US government. Just 12 months later, Amgen is our top company on the back of surging sales, a rich pipeline and a smart growth strategy, including the $10.4 billion acquisition in October of Onyx.

Agency of the Year: Intouch Solutions

After knocking on the door for a few years, Intouch finally made it into the MM&M All-Stars family. The Kansas City-based digital shop continued on its spectacular growth curve, with 2013 revenues up by about 35% to $70 million and staff approaching 500—that's seven times the revenue and five times the employees of five years ago. Of the agency's 22 account wins in 2013, 10 were brand-new client relationships.

Large Pharma Marketing Team of the Year: Humira

The anti-TNF and autoimmune markets are hotly contested, and with patent expiration slated for 2016, AbbVie's Humira is no spring chicken. But some things get better with age and Humira, already the world's best-selling drug, increased US sales by 20% in the first nine months of 2013. Not only that, some analysts predict that Humira will remain the biggest brand in the world until 2018—two years after it loses patent.

Small Pharma Marketing Team of the Year: Tecfidera

The roll-out last year of Biogen Idec's new multiple sclerosis pill was a master class in how to launch a new drug. It didn't hurt that the science was good and that the path to approval was swift. In its first few weeks on the market, Tecfidera claimed one third of all new MS patients, and after six months it had chalked up 35,000 scripts. US revenue for 2013 totaled $640 million and that is expected to double this year. Global sales by 2018 are projected to top $3.2 billion.

Media Brand of the Year: Remedy Health

Although viewership at the health and wellness portal's properties skyrocketed by 50% in 2013, that figure is not the only reason why Remedy topped our All-Star charts in the media category. According to Manhattan Research, 40% of Remedy's audience uses its sites to prepare for a visit to the physician's office, compared to 36% for Everyday Health, 30% for Healthline and 26% for WebMD. Furthermore, 29% of Remedy's audience uses it to evaluate medication switches, compared to 24% for Everyday Health, 21% for Healthline and 18% for WebMD.

Congratulations to our 2014 All-Stars and a happy and prosperous New Year to all of our readers.

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Does a health psychology approach hold the key to Rx adherence? In MM&M's latest Leadership Exchange Uncut eBook, industry stakeholders from the payer, provider, academic and pharma realms explore the "why" behind medicine taking. Access here.

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