Crestor sales get lift from study results

US demand for AstraZeneca’s Crestor showed the biggest one-week jump since its launch in the week to March 17—the same week a study found the drug can reverse the artery clogging that can lead to heart attacks, the drug maker said. AstraZeneca spokesperson Steve Brown told Reuters on Tuesday that the latest industry figures gave Crestor an 8.2% share of new prescriptions in the US—an increase of 60 basis points on the previous week. Analysts said the results were encouraging since the details of the study, named “ASTEROID,” were only released on March 13 during the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting. The study found that Crestor was the first drug to have been shown to reverse the build-up of plaque in coronary arteries. “ASTEROID was good news both for patient and Crestor sales, as indicated by the latest top-line US new and total prescriptions figures,” Brown said. “This is also reflected in significant increases on other market share data for the same period.” Crestor saw global sales of approximately $1.2 billion in 2005. The drug competes with Pfizer’s Lipitor, the world’s best-selling prescription medicine with $12 billion in global sales last year; Merck’s Zocor; and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol, which is set to lose patent protection in April.