Pfizer, Impax switch co-promotion duties from Pristiq to Lyrica

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Impax Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer rejiggered their co-promotion agreement on Pristiq by swapping it out for Lyrica. Impax sales forces worked on Pristiq beginning in July of 2009 after signing a three-year agreement with Wyeth, now part of Pfizer. Impax reps will now promote Lyrica instead.

Mark Donohue, a spokesperson at Impax, said the trade-off wasn't related to Pristiq sales figures, but had "more to do with our focus on high-prescribing neurologists." Impax's 66 sales reps commenced Lyrica promotion on April 1, and detailing is focused specifically on the drug's use as an adjunctive therapy for adult patients with partial onset seizures. Impax will no longer promote Pristiq.

Lyrica is also indicated for fibromyalgia, as well as nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles. As a result, Pfizer deployed it's own sales forces to neurologists, pain management specialists, endocrinologists and primary care physicians when the drug launched in 2005.

Pfizer nearly doubled its e-detailing spend in 2009, putting exponentially more dollars behind veteran brands like Aricept, Celebrex and the antibiotic Zyvox. However, Lyrica's e-detailing spend dropped 48% to $2.8 million through the first 11 months of 2009.

Total sales for Lyrica in 2009 were $267 million, up 10% from 2008, according to Pfizer's 2009 annual report. Pristiq sales figures for 2009 were conspicuously absent from the report. Pfizer will webcast its annual meeting of shareholders on April 22 at 8:30 am. The public is invited to listen in.
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