Sales force triggered Tysabri uptick

Share this article:
Biogen Idec and Elan's MS drug Tysabri realized a 15% increase in US revenues during the third quarter (compared with Q3 2009), a gain at least partially due to larger sales forces and increased patient assistance programs, according to Biogen Idec executives.
Additional sales reps were hired this year, and pre-existing sales forces were “strengthened” with additional training and communication tools, said Francesco Granata, EVP, global commercial operations, in an earnings call. A spokesperson for the company declined to quantify the sales force increase, or provide an approximate number of total reps working on the brand.
Compliance rates for patients on Tysabri were stable during 2010, said Paul Clancy, Biogen Idec's chief financial officer, on the earnings call, adding that some 23,000 new patients had been prescribed the drug, which also picked up an indication for Crohn's disease in January. To underscore the importance of compliance, the company launched a new MS nursing initiative, said Granata on the call. Biogen Idec is the MS “commercial lead” for Tysabri in the US, and Elan markets the drug for Crohn's in the US, according to Weiss.
While sales forces were increased in neurology, Biogen Idec announced on November 3 that it would restructure the business, terminating cardiovascular medicine and spinning off or out-licensing its oncology assets. As a result, the company will eliminate its oncology and rheumatology sales forces, including 123 reps working on Rituxan, a cancer drug, according to Naomi Aoki, a Biogen Idec spokesperson. Roche-owned Genentech, Biogen Idec's partner on Rituxan, will assume full commercial responsibilities for the drug. The restructuring process, overseen by Biogen Idec CEO George Scangos—who was appointed to the role over the summer—will result in a 13% job cut, or 650 full time positions, according to a statement on the restructuring.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the August 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.

Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men

Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men

Agencies must generate emotional resonance with the target audience, not unlike Apple, Pepsi or Nike

Are discounts cutting out co-pays?

GSK's decision to cut Advair's price spurred some PBMs to put it back on formulary. Will drugmaker discounts diminish the need for loyalty programs? How can these programs stay relevant beyond giving co-pay assistance?