Sales forces for Novo Nordisk's Victoza will emphasize the injectable's weight loss properties when it launches next month.
Speaking between sales force training workshops, Martin Jernigan, associate VP, Victoza launch, said the type 2 diabetes drug is “really about getting A1C under control, so patients can also get the benefit of weight loss – that's what is key about Victoza.”
Novo Nordisk expanded its diabetes sales forces to 1,900 in 2007, and Jernigan says the company is “ready to go for Victoza.” Reps will focus on endocrinologists and primary care docs, as well as institutions, hospitals and long-term care facilities, according to Jernigan. “We're now at a place where we'll have everybody trained and out the door, probably within a four-week window,” said Jernigan, adding that sales force increases in 2007 have boosted market shares for other Novo diabetes products.
Cline Davis Mann is Novo's AOR for professional materials on Victoza, and Grey Healthcare Group in New York is working on advertising for patients. Digitas Health is tasked with development of professional and patient websites and for non-search online media. Jernigan acknowledged PhRMA's six month moratorium on DTC ads, and said that Novo will watch market response to the drug as it evaluates consumer materials.
Direct to patient programs and advertising are currently awaiting DDMAC review, however, and Jernigan says those initiatives – targeting patients with diabetes, not the general public – will launch upon DDMAC approval.
Victoza (liraglutide injection) was approved on January 25. Novo Nordisk's diabetes portfolio includes Levemir, NovoLog and Prandin. Victoza's brand.com site can be found here