Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, April 16


FDA approved Amgen heart failure drug Corlanor (ivabradine) Wednesday. Amgen said it's the first new drug to receive FDA approval for chronic drug failure in over a decade. The oral drug helps regulate heart rate and reduce the risk of hospitalization in patients with chronic stable heart failure. FDA granted the drug Priority Review designation last April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer announced Wednesday that its already-approved breast-cancer drug, Ibrance, was halted early in trials after the medicine showed it delayed progression of the disease. Ibrance was approved for use as a second-line treatment in breast cancer in February. The results are part of the drugmaker's efforts to broaden the treatment's indication into the first-line setting.

DTC advertising is still effective, according to social intelligence company Treato, which conducted a study that found 30% of respondents spoke to a doctor about specific medications as the result of watching or reading an ad. Erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis scored the highest recognition for the conditions they treat, while Humira scored the lowest, Treato found. Consumers also had the opportunity to comment on particular ads, with some saying that ads for erectile dysfunction are “very embarrassing,” and 77% of respondents said they would prefer that ED ads run after 9pm, or not at all.

Pacira received a subpoena from the Department of Justice, which is seeking documents related to the marketing and promotion of non-opioid pain treatment Exparel. Exparel is a postsurgical pain treatment. Pacira reported that sales of Exparel were $59 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 93% from the same period in 2013.

An FDA advisory panel recommended 9-2 approving the Medicine Company's blood clot preventer, cangrelor, for patients undergoing angioplasty. The drug was rejected by the FDA in April 2014, according to Reuters, and the regulator had asked the drugmaker to reexamine trial data. The news service wrote that the majority of the FDA panel “voted reluctantly in favor of approval, echoing the views of staff reviewers who concluded that the benefit of cangrelor was ‘small' but the risk ‘smaller'” compared to Bristol-Myers Squibb's Plavix.